Social media is everywhere, and it’s got to the point where everyone and their grandma has a Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account. But what separates Instagram from other social media platforms? Money. It’s all about the money, because that’s what many Instagram users are earning everyday, and lots of it too. But Instagram ‘influencers’ can confuse a layman - it’s not like Youtube, where users create content which can then be monetized by adding advertisements. Everyone’s Instagram timeline has advertisements, and everyone’s Instagram story carousel has advertisements. So where does the money come in? Well, you’ve come to the right place to find out. In this article, we’ll be going over the primary ways that Instagram influencers create careers for themselves in this bold, new and online world.
Now, a quick distinction to make: we’re not talking about the sponsored posts on your timeline which are obviously advertisements from companies who have paid Instagram to put their content there, since that’s a whole other topic. No, these sponsored posts are posts that Instagram influencers create featuring items or services which a company provides, effectively advertising the company to their audience, who will likely trust them and do as they suggest, earning a profit for the company with more interest and sales. If you have a large enough Instagram account, with reliable content and thousands or even hundreds of active followers, who interact with your content by liking and commenting on it, then you could approach a company (or hope that a company approaches you) and suggest that you start a partnership. Once you’re creating sponsored posts for them, they’ll be paying you for your time, and it’ll likely become an ongoing partnership - a true win-win situation.
“However, when you’re creating sponsored posts, you’re not actually telling your audience to go and buy X, Y and Z, you’re just showing off that you know of and use X, Y and Z, suggesting to your audience that they’re worth checking out and legitimate,” states Brian Owens, a marketing writer at EliteAssignmentHelp and Essayroo, “so basically, you won’t be working based on commissions, it’ll be as close to a salary-job as you can get with Instagram outside of actually working for the company. If you’re an affiliate, on the other hand, you’ll directly advertise specific products or places to buy products or services, whatever the brand wants, and you’ll give your audience direct links and tell them to buy X, Y and Z now, because they’re so amazing and you use them all the time. Then you’ll work based on commissions - the more you sell, the more you earn, because you’ll likely be getting a cut of the sale price.”
Sell Your Own Stuff
If you like the idea of selling things to your audience, but you don’t want to work with a brand and only earn a cut of the profit, then consider creating your own products and setting up an online shop. You’d have to advertise it regularly on your Instagram account and provide a link to the website in your bio, and make sure that the content either relates to your Instagram account or to you as a person, and that it’s affordable and something that your audience will be interested in and want to buy. Consider custom t-shirts, mugs, badges, bags or even plushies, especially if your account focuses on art - selling prints of your work could also be an idea. If you’ve built up an audience who trust you and want to give back to you for all the content they’ve consumed over the time that they’ve followed you, then how better to do it than giving them a shop where they can buy things related to your Instagram account, and where you directly profit from it? With a little upfront work, an online shop can become a real earner when paired with an active and influential Instagram account!
Finally, if nothing else appeals to you, look to Instagram’s core philosophy: photos. Maybe Facebook and Twitter have the capacity for photographs, but written messages are at their core. Photos are at Instagram’s, and you’ve likely got a lot of them if you’ve made it far with your Instagram account. There are countless online picture marketplaces where you can list your photos (which are all your own property, so long as you and you alone took/created them, or you have been allowed the full rights to them) and wait for brands and companies to buy them, or you can even go the route mentioned above and sell your photos as prints, or get them directly printed onto merchandise. “People probably don’t follow your Instagram account mainly for the witty captions, or updates about your dog on your story (although they might!).” Camilla Watkins, a business blogger at Essay Services and UKWritings, says. “Photos are why people follow you, so look at your follower count and realise that all of those people are a marketplace for your photos. They already want them, so why not allow them to use them or own them physically, by making that option available? There’s no consequences for trying it out, so just go ahead and turn your Instagram account into some real profit.”
Katherine Rundell loves working as a writer at Big Assignments, and her editing work at OX Essays Reviews helps to propel her through life. Social media and job-seeking are two of her main areas of expertise, and she’s helped hundreds of people throughout her career. Katherine also blogs at Top assignment writing services in South Australia.