While Instagram was first intended for photo sharing, it has become an eccomerce force and a business platform, which can be used by anyone, particularly ecommerce business owners. This article will explain how people make money on Instagram, how it differs from other types of ecommerce, and will give tactics to implement in order to make money from Instagram.

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Can you make money on Instagram::

Making money on Instagram is possible if the business can be expressed visually and creatively for marketing purposes. Here are some ways to make money on Instagram:

  • Focusing on sponsored posts for brands that want to reach to audiences
  • Becoming an affiliate and earning money by selling other brands’ products
  • Selling own products, whether physical or digital, or a service
  • Selling photography

Enthusiasts of this platform are always looking for new ways to earn money on Instagram, so this article gives details on how to do that, along with some success stories.

How to make money on Instagram?

Products that photograph well are idea for selling on Instagram. Being photogenic or being able to take great photos garners a huge following, which creates huge sales. There are five business models for making money on Instagram:

1. Become an influencer and make money from sponsored posts

Influencer status allows users to propose brands to help with promoting their posts. Influencers have built a reputation by doing or sharing things online and have a good following. They are able to convince audiences about trends because they have built up a level of trust with their online presence. Brands will often partner with influencers to promote their products. Influencers must manage many things, including the size and reach of Instagram accounts, and trust and engagement built based on content. Top influencers make thousands of dollars by doing sponsored posts daily.

Typically an influencer post includes an Instagram post or story promoting a brand or their products. Influencers must know their audience in order to understand who it consists of and be able to know which brands fit that audience. Instagram business users can research numbers through the Instagram Analytics report.

When users create a noteworthy online presence, big brands will reach out. Users can also find brands that match their personality and values and reach out to them directly to try and negotiate a deal. It is also possible to list themselves on influencer marketplaces to increase chances of being found by a big brand.

Be sure not to lose the trust of existing audiences, and always indicate with a hashtag that it’s a sponsored post.

2. Become an affiliate and make money selling other people’s products

Many brands sell products through affiliate programs, in which other users receive a cut. The difference between an affiliate and an influencer is that affiliates work towards making sales for partnering brand in exchange for a commission. Influencers are mainly working to create awareness. Affiliates make money by a trackable link or promo code which ensures that clicks are converted to sales. Affiliates can promote products without being too pushy by creating engaging posts. Affiliates can only have one link in a bio, so include a landing page to the affiliate link, and include a caption in each post that the product can be purchased via that link. This may sound challenging, but affiliate marketing has a variety of expansion possibilities for growth, and users can expand their presence by including websites and/or other marketing or social media channels.

3. Sell poster photos and other virtual products

Instagram is about visual content, so photogenic products sell well. Users can sell poster photos, paintings, drawings, animations, videos, and other image and video based products. Refer readers to visit the link in the bio. High-quality photos, as well as editing and composition, can bring in money. Use relevant hashtags to promote a portfolio on Instagram.

4. Sell your own physical products

Self-produced physical products or products from suppliers usually require stocking some inventory, which means sellers need to spend some startup capital to stock up. It also requires a place to keep them.

5. Sell dropshipped products

Dropshipping allows users to run a store without holding inventory. The supplier ships products from their warehouse to the customer’s doorstep, and business owners don’t have to worry about storing, packaging, or shipping products. This is similar to selling products on Instagram in that there is no need to store inventory. Dropshipping allows users to experiment to find niche products that sell well, without using startup capital.

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Interesting Instagram statistics

Instagram is catching up with Facebook in growth. Facebook has 2.07 billion monthly users, and Instagram has reached 800 million over seven years. Instagram users are becoming an unstoppable force, figuring out ways to make money and cash in on their pictures.

These figures are worthy of consideration for people wanting to make money on Instagram:

1. With 800 million users active per month, Instagram represents almost three times the US population.

2. 500 million users active daily is double the US population.

3. 70.7% of business users use Instagram (taken in 2017). This translates to 21 million out of 30 million businesses.

4. 80% of Instagram users follow at least one business account, which translates to 640 million users following at least one business account.

5. 2 million Instagram businesses advertise every month.

6. Time spent on Instagram increases 80% per year.

7. In 2016, 48% of US brands used Instagram to promote their business. It’s expected to reach 82% in 2018.

8. 300 million Instagram accounts use Instagram Stories every day.

9. Instagram users by age:

  • 18-29 years old: 59%
  • 30-49: 33%
  • 50-64: 18%
  • 64+: 8%

10. Instagram users by gender:

  • Female: 38%
  •   Male: 26%
  • Other: 36%

11. Instagram posts with location tags get 79% more engagement.

12. Photos with faces get 38% more likes.

13. User-generated content has a 4.5% higher conversion rate.

Instagram success stories

Other’s experiences and successes can help users learn how to earn money on Instagram. A good way to start is to foster a specific niche and start selling products that relate to a passion, hobby, or anything that can be shared with others. Apps like Shopify, which comes with Instagram Business Account integration make it easier to connect Instagram with an ecommerce site.

The following entrepreneurs are examples of how to integrate Instagram marketing seamlessly. BeardBrand sells products that help bearded men maintain their lifestyle, and has a strong Instagram presence of over 124,000 followers.

RadSlimeShop sells out quickly because of their crisp and clear videos in which viewers can hear the colorful popping slime being  molded.

SoAestheticShop, which is devoted to Jarajuku-style fashion, meticulously edit their posts to create a very attractive image. They also use dropshipping, and partner with social media influencers.

What are the requirements for making money on Instagram?

Making money on Instagram requires using apps, following do’s and don’ts, utilizing optimal filters, and applying promotional tactics. Users also need to be aware of new trends and rules.

1. Master Instagram for Business

There are two types of accounts: personal and business. Look at online tutorials to learn more about business accounts.

2. Master Instagram ecommerce shopping apps integration

Because Instagram comes with limited shopability, it needs some ingenuity to make it work for business. The ecommerce feature can be seamlessly integrated using certain apps designed for a Shopify store. It’s good to try out different apps to see which works best. Shopify is one the best recommended.

3. Master Instagram do’s and don’ts

Following Instagram’s rules for how to post, types of videos or images to post, how many hashtags can be used, and how many times a day users can post can improve chances of earning money.

4. Master Instagram filters and photography

Using optimal and suboptimal filters can mean a great difference in the number of likes. Popular filters for fashion include: Valencia, Normal, Brooklyn, Kelvin, and Nashville. Popular filters for food include: Skyline, Normal, and Helena. Popular filters for selfies include: Normal, Slumber, and Skyline. Picodash is a tool that can help explore which photos work well.

5. Create posts inspired by viral stories

Including these stories between product photos and videos helps with getting likes. Tools like Stencil, PromoRepublic, and Be Funky help with designing and publishing inspirational images.

How to build a strong following on Instagram:

Users should build an Instagram following before and after they start selling. It’s good to have at least a couple hundred followers before starting to sell, so that sellers aren’t posting images of products to an empty account. These 13 tips help to build a strong following.

1. Optimize your Instagram profile

Choose a username that’s less than 30 characters so that it is searchable through a keyword. It also should be consistent with usernames used on other social media platforms. The bio should be up to 150 characters and include a clickable link to the Instagram account.

2. Create and promote a dedicated hashtag

Creating a dedicated hashtag related to the brand allows users to check the hashtag for conversations related to the brand. It’s important to promote this hashtag on other platforms, online and offline.

3. Get creative with hashtags related to your niche

Instagram allows 30 hashtags per post, but it’s recommended to use 5 to 10 popular hashtags related to the niche and products.

4. Participate in conversations related to your niche

Checking out and following other accounts in the same or similar niche and getting involved in conversations earns new followers.

5. Use compelling captions

Using compelling captions helps followers to feel invited to join conversations and like posts.

6. Run and promote contests

Create contests with a photo inviting contestants and showing prizes. Include a special hashtag, and post rules clearly.

7. Create and promote Instagram Stories and live videos

Add geotags, selfie stickers, moving texts, color overlays, texts, and face filters to Instagram stories makes them fun and creative.

8. Post regularly

Being consistent, styling posts the same way (like using the same filter or types of posts, photos, or quotes) allows followers to recognize posts and correlate them with the brand.

9. Collaborate with influencers and like-minded accounts

Reaching out to influencers and like-minded accounts for exchanged and paid posts creates more followers.

10. Use the location feature

Using appropriate hashtags and geotags allows posts to easily be found.

11. Develop a unique visual style

Each account should have its own unique personality, so choose the same filter and style for the Instagram account.

12. Ask others to engage with your content

Politely asking people to help out with something that evokes positive feelings and brings them value gets more people engaged.

13.Use Instagram ads to reach more people

Paid ads help reach more people. They cost between $0.70 and $1.00.

Promoting your business on Instagram:

No matter what the business model, it needs to be promoted, and self-promoting requires having a thick skin, being strategic, and using proven tactics to earn money. Most purchases on Instagram are impulse-based, so promotional avenues must be based on this. It is key to create a “wow” factor with photos, videos, captions, and a seamless shopping experience.

  1. Use compelling, professionally-produced videos and photos with favorite filters and tools.
  2. Integrate Instagram and ecommerce store accounts to ensure a positive and consistent experience.
  3. Collaborate with influencers with similar philosophies and followers.
  4. Strategize well to stay afloat, and post content daily.
  5. Design all social media accounts, web pages, and blogs with a uniform and consistent theme.

Takeaways from making money on Instagram:

Being creative with accounts earns money from Instagram. Sell physical products and services like influencer marketing by posting photos, live stories, and videos. Consider using dropshipping to sell physical products.

How much money can be made on Instagram depends on what is sold, business strategies, and marketing tactics. Users will probably start out making a little, but with a bigger following and improved marketing, sales will increase.

Making money from Instagram means learning from successful Instagrammers, and combining them with strengths in marketing, photography, storytelling, and photo styling. Grow a following with contests and actively posting new photos once or twice daily. Finally have a strong product and serve customers well.

Before quitting the 9-to-5 job, consider that it takes a while to earn a good profit. But it is a good model to sell on Instagram, so users owe it to themselves to start it.