Have you ever used Instagram or are you a seasoned professional? Perhaps it seems like its for the arty types to you? For people who are only interested in taking clever photographs of trees covered in snow?
Not so. Instagram is fast becoming one of the largest and most widely used social networks out there. You can actually make some good money from Instagram and I will show you how.
As of September 2015, Instagram has over 400 million users per month and 75 million users per day.
It might surprise you to know that Instagram is bigger than Pinterest and Twitter by quite a considerable amount. with Pinterest running at a mere 100 Million users and Twitter at 320 million users.
So, it’s no shock that brands have jumped on this bandwagon and want to make money from Instagram, and with the purchase by Facebook in 2012, this means there is opportunity for you to cash in too.
So following are some tips on how you can make money from Instagram. Because believe me, you can, and some people have had massive success!
But as ever, please bear in mind that ANY online business takes time and hard work, and anyone that tells you otherwise, that you can earn a quick buck, is really just flat out lying to you.
So making money from Instagram is no different.
Getting Started on Instagram
Let’s be clear, you can’t start off immediately, a fresh newbie to Instagram and expect to start making money.
You have to build your following and if anyone has tried to do this in any social media channel then you know it’s not as easy as it sounds. You want to be aiming for a 10,000 + followers to become credible.
Here are some pointers to get you going and going in the right direction:
Your profile and bio
Make sure your bio is up to scratch. you want to include both contact information and hashtags, to help you get found.
Your area or niche
Think about what subject area, or niche you are going to be in. What do you like doing, taking pictures of, what do you know about? Make sure that it’s something that you enjoy as that will shine through. And if you want to make this part of your business, make sure the niche tallies with your own business
Take high Quality Photos
Mobile phones can do a lot today, but think about using a DSLR camera. Here’s a great selection from Amazon. This can make all the difference. Instagram is about quality photos. So make sure your photos are within your niche and that they are beautiful and relevant.
Your style of photography
Think about a ‘way of taking your photos’ This will involve some research on what others in your niche do, and what styles appeal to you and fit with your niche. Are they black and white, sepia, with words over the top. What is the look that you want to achieve?
What sort of content might you be focussing on? Is it back of house stuff, in action shots.. Of course a range of photos is great, but makes sure you have a plan. Again, research here on other people you like will really help
Be regular and consistent
As with a lot of social media networks, regularity is key! Post everyday or more if you can. And space them out. Don’t post a whole load at the same time. You have to be on it everyday and make it part of your routine
Make you you keep up with your comments and likes, and make sure you reply. This will add credibility to your following.
Using hashtags will get your photos noticed under different search terms. When a user searches for something that you have used as a hashtag, then your photo gets delivered in their feed. You want to aim for about 10 hashtags per post. And try to make them as specific as possible. The more general they are the more likely they are to be lose.
Drive external traffic
If you have your own website or blog already, make sure you always refer back to this, to keep traffice driving in both directions
So now to the good bit – 5 ways to make money with Instagram
Be a Brand Ambassador
Be warned, this is the most tricky but most lucrative way to make money with Instagram.
But you need to have a decent following with I would say at LEAST 10,000 to 20,000 followers and be often get several thousand likes on a post before you even think about going down this route. You need to be able to sell the brand your exposure and your influence. THe more exposure you have the more money you can earn.
How it works is that you can essentially link up with a brand and feature that brand in your photography. They can pay you in several different ways, either with an agreed sum upfront, or by each post or even by the number of likes your post gets.
Some people have made some serious money doing this. We are talking up to $15,000 a month! That can’t be bad!
Sell your account
If you have built your account to a good place with a good number of followers, then it could be a great idea to sell it.
This has happened numerous times before and if you approach the right buyer, and have enough followers, you could make a tidy sum. What brands wouldn’t happily just pick up a few thousand followers, just like that? As long as they are relevant. Use the websites suggested above, to help you get started.
Sell your photos
If a brand or business likes your niche and it’s relevant to them and they like your style of photos, you can take several photos for them specifically and provide them with content, description and hashtags and they can upload them to their own Instagram account. Almost working like a freelancer.
Use it for your own marketing
If you have a blog already or an online business, use it to help sell your products.
You can direct people back to your website, and use it as a sales portal.
But be careful, the integrity of the images and the value that you are supplying to your customer based mustn’t always be about sales sales sales. You will soon lose your following if you push too hard. What works well are pictures of your work being produced, such as creation of a calligraphy print, or boxing up of a packaged gift. Things like that go down a storm!
Keep up the value and the meaningful imagery.
Affiliate marketing in a nutshell is about selling other peoples products and you take a commission on every sale. When you think about your niche, have a look at what affiliates are out there. For example if you are into baby wear, then perhaps Walmart offer an affiliate program. You can find out by typing in Baby wear + Affiliate Program into Google.
Then you simply take the link given to you by your affiliate partner and paste it into your post. You might want to use a url shortener such as Bit.ly to make sure it doesn’t look spammy. Everytime someone sees your post and purchases from Walmart, you get a commission. Easy!
Affiliate marketing is a fantastic way to earn without the trouble of producing and dispatching products. If you want to learn how to get started in affiliate marketing, try this FREE course.
So can you do it?
Can you make money with Instagram? Absolutely, and many have. You just need the dedication upfront to build that following. But by all means it is something that you can work on whilst carrying on your day job. See if it flies for you and you could be one of the success stories.