How Can You Make Money On Instagram?

Instagram is the number one place for sharing photos, hobbies, passions, and creativity. With a billion monthly users, the app is extremely popular with celebrities and businesses. If you’ve ever wondered how to make money on Instagram, we’ve got the answers.

Celebrity endorsements have been going on for a while! Brands will hire a celebrity to promote their product.

For example, Kim Kardashian West partnered with Carolina Lemke Berlin for this photograph wearing a pair of their sunglasses. Of course, Kim Kardashian will get paid a lot of money for this partnership!

But you don’t need 137 million followers to get paid on Instagram. In fact, most brands look for a minimum of 3,000 followers before they discuss paid partnerships. We’ll tell you just how you can make money on Instagram.

How To Partner With Brands

The first step to make money on Instagram is to find brands to work with. Of course, your Instagram account needs to be popular, relevant and targeting a specific audience.

If you have 200 followers and you post blurry pictures of your cats, breakfast and new shoes, brands won’t want to work with you.

However, if you have even 3,000 followers, a targeted and themed Instagram account and great engagement, brands will probably reach out to you!

For example, @__inoraa__, pictured above, has 15,000 followers. This is a small number compared to celebrities! But in this photo, she’s doing a paid advertisement with

To start though, it’s a good idea to accept gifting brand deals. This means that the brand will gift you an item, free of charge, in exchange for some photos. You won’t be getting paid for your time or hard work in money, but you will get free items.

Of course, if you want to influence full time and pay the bills, eventually you need to start asking for money! But take a few gifting collaborations to get started.

@orbitinguniverses has just over 4,000 followers. She works with brands on a gifted basis to promote their products! If you’re starting out as a business, it might be a good idea to offer some gifted collabs with micro-influencers to save money, too.

But how do these Instagrammers find these brands to connect with? How do they make money on Instagram?

Option One: Reach Out To A Brand

The most obvious way to connect with a brand is to reach out to them! This won’t work with big brands like McDonald’s or Nike. However, you can always email smaller brands. Think less than 50,000 followers.

Make sure that you’re emailing brands that are relevant to your Instagram account! If you mostly post about makeup, clothes, and fashion, a furniture brand won’t be very impressed by your email.

Reaching out to a brand can seem scary but it’s really easy! Either message them on Instagram or be a bit more professional and follow the link to their email. Basically, introduce yourself, tell them about your account, what you can offer them and give them some stats about your engagement.

Option Two: Reach Out To An Agency

There are a lot of influencer agencies around to help you make money on Instagram!

A quick Google search will bring up lots in your country. Simply email them, tell them about yourself, link to your Instagram and ask if they could put you on their list.

When they get a client or brand looking for influencers, they’ll think of you when it comes to paid partnerships.

Working with agencies is great because there is no way for the brand to take advantage of you. There are contracts and middle-men involved to keep everything fair!

Option Three: Wait For Brands To Contact You

In our experience, most brand deals come from brands reaching out to you!

The best way to get noticed is to tag brands you love in your posts when sharing their products organically. Maybe you wear a lot of clothes from a certain brand. Tag them in your photos to get noticed! They might just end up reaching out for a collaboration.

Also, follow relevant brands on Instagram. Interact with them and make them aware of you.

Lastly, use hashtags relevant to your images. Brands often follow lots of hashtags. One day, your photo will come up on their timeline and they’ll want to collaborate.

How To Set Your Budget

The tricky part for many influencers is figuring out how much money to charge. Too little will make brands untrustworthy of you, and too much might steer brands away.

This is another reason to partner with agencies because brands that go through agencies usually have a bigger budget!

There is a lot of conflicting advice online about how much to charge, but we’ve got a great guide for you.

First, you can check out this Influencer Money Calculator to determine exactly how much you should charge based on your 12 recent posts. This is a great tool!

However, the basic rule is to charge about 1% of your following.

If you have 3,000 followers, you could charge $30. If you have 100,000 followers, you could charge around $1000.

It can be confusing because the more followers you have, the more you steer away from the 1% rule. Instead, you could charge about 1% of your engagement.

If you have 1 million followers, but only 200,000 likes per photo, it’s a good idea to charge 1% of your engagement: $2000.

Confusing, we know, but you’ll get the hang of it!

Just use the Influencer Money Calculator, and talk to agencies about what they think is fair. At the end of the day, don’t undercharge yourself! You work hard to create great advertisements for brands. Don’t sell yourself short when you want to make money on Instagram.

What Happens Next?

Always sign a contract. Always!

A brand might send you products, promise payment, but after the photo is taken and uploaded, they might disappear and ignore all your emails.

If you sign a contract, you have the legal right to the money you’ve earned.

Despite that, the next step is to have fun with your sponsored content. Of course, we have some tips for getting the best out of the experience:

  1. Use this as a chance to be creative. You aren’t only taking this photo for you, but the brand also. Make sure that you’re taking the best quality photograph you can in terms of resolution and creativity. This is your opportunity to fly out of your comfort zone!
  2. Don’t make it look too much like an ad. If your photos are normally from certain angles, using certain colors, keep it like that for the ad. You don’t need to do a tacky close-up image of the product to sell it on your profile!
  3. Do your best. This is an opportunity to make money on Instagram. If this goes well, more and more brand deals will come your way, so do your absolute best.

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SNS ์— ๋งŽ์ด๋ณด์—ฌ ๊ถ๊ธˆํ–ˆ๋˜ #์ฒญ์†Œ์‹ ํ™”์žฅ์‹คํด๋ฆฌ๋„ˆ ์—ญ์‹œ ์ฒญ์†Œ๋„ #์žฅ๋น„๋นจ ์ด๋‹ˆ๊นŒ #์š•์กฐ์ฒญ์†Œ #ํ™”์žฅ์‹คํƒ€์ผ์ฒญ์†Œ ๊นŒ์ง€๋„ ํŽธํ•˜๊ฒŒํ•  ์ˆ˜ ์žˆ๋Š” #์ฒญ์†Œ์‹  #ํ™”์žฅ์‹คํด๋ฆฌ๋„ˆ #์š•์‹ค์ฒญ์†Œ๋„๊ตฌ ๋ถ„์‚ฌ๋ ฅ ์ข‹๊ณ  ๊ฐ„๋‹จํ•˜๊ฒŒ ์ฒญ์†Œํ•  ์ˆ˜ ์žˆ์–ด ์ข‹์Œ ! #ad #๋ฆฌ๋ทฐ @chungsosin_official ์ œํ’ˆ ๋งํฌ :

A post shared by HyeRa Lee (@hyerayaaa) on

This is an example of a bad ad. Not only does it have absolutely no engagement, but the photo itself also is not quality. Instead of making the product look elegant and nice in an aesthetic environment, they’ve plopped it in the sink and taken the photo at a poor angle.

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#AD | Don't mind me just holding up the train while I finish this chapter…. . . When @gwruk asked if they could send me away for the day I jumped at the chance, and I knew exactly where I wanted to go. The last time I visited Bath was when I graduated last July, so it felt like a perfect time to give the city I love another visit. . . I used the GWR app and it was fast, quick and convenient. As for the journey I was there in 90 minutes, the seats had loads of leg room and a charger for my phone. Honestly thought I was in heaven! I think I need to move so I can always get on GWR trains. So I'm curious if I offered you a train ticket to anywhere in the UK, where would you go? #GWRAdventures . . . . . #globewanderer #roamtheworld #edits_of_our_world #thevisualones #edit_perfection #manipulationclan #thecreativers #make_more_magic #livecreatively #enter_imagination #gramslayers #livecreatively #acreativevisual #thegraphicpr0ject #visual_creatorz #manipulationteam #createyourstory #justforfun #sharegoodness #calledtobecreative #createmakeshare #thisjoyfulmoment #iamtraveler #living_destinations #wanderluster #womenwhotravel #travelaround

A post shared by Bronte (Bee) ๐Ÿ“London U.K (@frombeewithlove) on

This is an example of a good ad! Not only is the photo absolutely gorgeous, but Bronte has also been faithful to her Instagram game. Her page usually revolves around books, fashion, and feminism. Even though she’s advertising a train, she still managed to incorporate things her followers love to see normally: books and fashion. She knows what she’s doing when she needs to make money on Instagram.

If you want any more tips on branded content, definitely treat yourself to a dedicated account manager from Upleap. They will help you with growing your Instagram account, building your brand and getting the best out of your account. Click here for a free trial!

Good luck with the branded content and be creative!

๐Ÿ’ก Related Post: What to expect from the Buzzfeed Instagram


By Beth McCallum

I'm Beth, a Scottish writer and bookworm. I'm currently agent hunting for my debut novel while running a candle business from my home. I obsess over dogs, Hamilton, chai lattes and recently, Harry Potter. I know, I'm decades late.

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