If you told someone 10 to 15 years ago that you would make money by posting photos and videos online, they would have laughed in your face. But it is the reality now.

Many people out there earn hundreds of dollars to a full-time income with Instagram influencer marketing. Some have become millionaires.

How Instagram Influencer Marketing Works

In traditional marketing methods, businesses directly reach the consumer. This method is effective, but it has one considerable drawback. It’s that people naturally assume that a company will talk its products up whether they are good or bad. So, there’s always a thought lingering in their mind about the efficacy of the product.

Only 38% of people trust recommendations from a brand on social platforms. Whereas 61% trust recommendations from influencers. People trust them more as they have no direct affiliation with the company.  

So, businesses are on the lookout for bloggers and influencers with engaging social media followings to help promote their products. In exchange for this promotion, they pay them a fee or give them free products or both.

Many businesses prefer using Instagram for influencer marketing over other social media channels as it generates a better ROI.

Instagram influencer stats

So, if you become an Instagram influencer with a community of followers, you can begin scoring some free products and even make money.

How to Become an Instagram influencer

Now that you know how Instagram influencer marketing works, I will show you how to become an Instagram influencer.

Find a niche:

Choosing a niche is an important step you must take before getting started with influencer marketing. Most amateur influencers think that if they go after a wide range of audiences or niches, they will attract more followers, and a smorgasbord of brands will want to work with them.

This isn’t true as brands want to work with influencers in a specific niche. When they solicit a sponsored post, they want to get the highest ROI for their investment. So, they will look for influencers with a targeted following. An example is Gymshark.

They make gym wear. So, they chiefly work with health and fitness influencers such as @lillysabri.

instagram influencer example

Here’s another partnership with @joefraser1.

instagram influencer marketing

Therefore, if you want to attract more brands that pay well, you should pick a niche and build a targeted following who will buy the products you promote.

Some good profitable and popular niches on Instagram are…

  • Pets, especially dogs and cats
  • Fashion
  • Luxury
  • Travel
  • Food
  • Health and fitness
  • Beauty
  • Business
  • Skincare

To make this fun, pick a niche you like.

Research Instagram Influencers, brands, and potential followers:

The next step you must take is research. Study influencers and brands in your niche to see what they post and who interacts with them. It will help you better understand your target audience and create an account that generates higher engagement and grows faster.

Start by searching hashtags related to your niche on Instagram. It will list the most popular posts with these hashtags.

instagram hashtag search

You can visit the accounts of people who posted them and check how their Instagram accounts look, what types of content (tutorials, selfies, funny videos, etc.) they publish, and who likes their content.

Make sure you follow some of these people and take notes about their accounts and the people who follow them.

You must create a persona of this target audience to get a better idea about what they want.

Create the perfect Instagram business account:

I want you to take your persona and think of it as a person. You are meeting this person for the first time. How are you going to get them to like you and follow you? This is what your Instagram account should reflect if you want to get your target audience to follow you.

To make this friendly first impression, upload a profile picture of you smiling and write a bio where you introduce yourself and include a call to action asking them to follow you.

Also, add your bio URL as it can help you drive traffic. If you haven’t got a website, you can quickly design an Instagram landing page with a tool like split.link.

instagram bio url

An excellent example of a well-designed account is this one from @notsobasiclondon.

instagram influencer profile

She uses a good profile picture, a simple bio with emojis, and a call to action asking people to visit the website.

Make sure you set up an Instagram business account as you can’t promote products on a personal account. I recommend that you have a separate personal account for personal stuff and a business account for your influencer marketing career.

Another option is to make a creator account. But this doesn’t have all the features of a business account.

Create different kinds of posts:

After you set up the account, you can start publishing posts. When you publish posts, people engage with them and check out your account. This helps you get more followers. Also, engagement rate is a metric that many brands look at while selecting influencers, as the higher your engagement levels are, the more people you will reach.

So, make sure you create different types of posts and engage with your followers. These should include…

In-feed posts:

In-feed Instagram posts are the posts that appear in the Instagram feed itself. Many businesses prefer this type of content as most people spend their time in the regular feed where they see these posts.

Try to publish something in the feed at least once a day to engage your followers. An example of someone who does this regularly is @manny_the_frenchie.

instagram dog influencer

Instagram stories:

One of the problems with in-feed posts is that there is so much competition. Everyone’s doing it. To stand out, you should publish more Instagram stories as fewer people publish them. Also, Instagram stories drive more engagement as they only last for 24 hours. Your followers will want to check them out before they disappear forever.

Some brands will prefer ordering stories, especially if you have more than 10,000 followers, as you can share links in the stories and drive direct traffic. You can see it in this partnership between @chrisellelim and Olay.

instagram stories influencer marketing

Chriselle unboxes a product from Olay and shares a link to a landing page.

Highlights:

You can always restore any of your stories from the archive and place them under your Instagram bio as highlights like @iraville did here.

instagram highlights

Highlights are an excellent way to share more information about you as the amount you can include in the bio is limited. So, instead of creating only short-term stories, also create evergreen stories with information about you and highlight them.

Reels:

Another new and popular format many influencers are using is Reels. These are videos that can be 15 to 30 seconds long.

IGTV videos:

If you want to create longer videos, you should use Instagram’s IGTV. Videos here can be up to 60 minutes long. You can also share links in IGTV descriptions.

Make sure you plan a posting schedule a month before. It should include your posting frequency, post types, number of sponsored posts, etc. Also, create some post templates as they will make your job easier.

Work towards getting more Instagram followers:

Your income from influencer marketing is directly related to the number of followers you have. Brands usually pay $10 for every 1,000 followers. If you have 10,000 followers, you will make about $100 per post, and 100,000 followers will get you $1,000 per post.

There are five types of Instagram influencers based on the number of followers they have.

  • Nano-influencers: 0 to 1,000 followers.
  • Micro-influencers: 1,000 to 10,000 followers.
  • Macro-influencers: 10,000 to 100,000 followers.
  • Mega-influencers: 100,000 to 1 million followers.
  • Celebrity-influencers: 1 million+ followers.

At the nano stage, you will probably not get paid. Brands will most likely give you free products in exchange for a sponsored post.

You will begin getting paid once you hit the micro-influencer stage. But you will probably receive less than $100 per post. Once you exceed this, you can charge a lot more.

Some brands will pay extra for posts such as Instagram stories with links like this one from @naturallystefanie.

sponsored instagram post

So, work on getting a lot of new followers. These need to be real followers. Never buy fake followers as you don’t want to start a relationship with a brand by lying to them. Also, brands will look at your engagement rates before hiring you. If it’s low (as they usually are when an account has fake followers), brands and marketers will want to pay you less or not work with you at all.

If your engagement rate is high, brands will be okay with paying you more.

A great tactic for gaining followers quickly when you are starting out is the follow-unfollow method.

If you want to grow your account quickly, you can buy an Instagram business account on Fameswap. We have accounts with a few thousand followers to several hundreds of thousands in various niches. They also have high engagement levels.

Build a community:

One way to increase engagement is by building a community. Building a community will also help you generate sales as your followers will trust you and want to buy the products you recommend. Instead of just posting content and hoping for the best, you should encourage your followers to communicate with you and then communicate back with them.

So, regularly ask questions in your in-feed posts and stories, run polls with stories, and when followers leave a comment, get back to them. Also, if you get DMs, always respond to them within 48 hours. Giveaways, where Instagram users need to leave a comment, can also help build a community.

An influencer who has a built a robust community is @Bravetart.

instagram community

She shares many recipes on her Instagram account and responds to comments on the posts.

If you have a strong community that buys more products, you can also increase your rates. And brands will want to work with you in the longterm.

The insights you gain from the responses will also help you create high-quality content.

Look for sponsorships to make money

Once you have some followers and are generating good levels of engagement, you can begin looking for sponsors. The quickest way to get deals is by reaching out to an influencer marketing agency. Agencies will pay you less as they help make deals on behalf of a company, but they can get you a lot of work as they work with several brands.

Once you get a few sponsored posts under your belt, you can begin reaching out to brands. Just look for brands that sponsor other influencers and then reach out to their PR or outreach team via email. Let them know about your follower count, engagement rate, follower demographics, experience, pricing, and results. You can create a media kit that summarizes all of these stats.

Also, keep a close eye on your DMs as many brands will reach out to you.

instagram dm marketing

You can even include your email address to encourage brands to contact you as Zach King does. Adding a call to action like email me for sponsorship opportunities will also help.

5 Other Ways Instagram Influencers Can Make Money

Sponsorship is a great way to make money on Instagram, but there are a few other ways that work. These are…

Affiliate marketing

Instead of getting upfront payment, you can join affiliate programs offered by brands and earn money for every sale you make. It can be a nice way to start your influencer marketing career.

Sell your products

You won’t generate the highest return when you promote others products as brands need to profit over what they pay you. So, if you sell your own products, you will earn a lot more. Some influencers have become millionaires doing this.

Offer Instagram marketing services

If you grow your account by yourself and master the Instagram algorithm, you can sell Instagram marketing services to help other people grow their accounts and build high engagement levels. It can be very lucrative. You can also refer clients to Instagram marketing agencies and earn money for referrals.

Start a blog

Blogging is a great way to make some extra money with Instagram. You can also start a blog, run some ads on your website and drive traffic with Instagram. A blog is also a great place to sell products. It can become a larger part of your personal brand.

Create more social media accounts

You can use your Instagram brand to grow your accounts on other social media platforms and make money with them too. Some great sites are YouTube, TikTok, and Facebook.

Are You Ready to Become a Successful Instagram Influencer?

Being an Instagram influencer is fun. You can pick niches you are passionate about and document what you like doing. In the beginning, it will take a lot of work to grow your following and engagement, but it is worth the effort as you will get paid in the long run. Even if you don’t get paid, you will get a lot of gifts and free products that you can use.

If you want to cut short the journey to gain followers and make money immediately, you can buy an Instagram account with real followers and engagement on Fameswap today.