How To Make Money As An Instagram Model

If you’ve got good looks, extra time and a fabulous eye for fashion, you might be the perfect candidate for an Instagram model. In fact, they make a bucket load of money! We’ll cover just how much they make and some tips to take from the top Instagram models.

What Is An Instagram Model?

You might have heard the term ‘Instagram model’ but perhaps you’ve wondered what exactly being an Instagram model entails.

It’s pretty self-explanatory. It’s somebody who uses Instagram as their modeling platform. Rather than going the traditional route with agents and brands, they make their own career through Instagram!

Once they have a big enough following on Instagram, they start to get recognized by brands. Thus, the brand wants them to promote their product, sets them up with a couple of free outfits, some cash and the Instagram model makes their money!

In fact, you only need around 1,000 followers to be selected by brands. Of course, the more you have, the more money you get for each sponsored post.

Once they have a big enough following, they might partner with brands for fashion shows, magazine photo shoots and even modeling on websites.

Who Are The Instagram Models?

There are millions of Instagram models out there. To be honest, all it is, is someone taking and posting pictures of themselves on Instagram. Once they make any amount of money, they can be termed an ‘Instagram model’.

From each account we share, we’ll also give you an awesome tip to help you with your Instagram model journey.


Jack Morris is a male Instagram model with 2.8 million followers. Although he’s also a travel blog, he’s in just about all his photos which makes him an Instagram model. Clearly, he’s making enough from modeling to fund his travels all around the world.

In fact, in his last seven posts, three of them are sponsored. And not by small indie brands but brands like American Express, Hilton and Lavalise Hotels.

Tip:  Like Jack, to be successful as an Instagram model, you must only partner with brands that are relevant to your image. For example, Jack partners with travel companies because he is an avid traveler. His followers love traveling too and therefore, they are interested in the brands he partners with.

Claudia Alende

Instagram model, Claudia Alende, made her way to fame because of her uncanny resemblance with the actress, Megan Fox.

Certainly, you can’t deny that they are almost identical! Claudia Alende currently has 9.9 million followers on Instagram.

From Instagram modeling, Claudia has launched her music career. In fact, Forbes magazine named her as one of the top Instagram influencers in 2017. They said, “As both a model and businesswomen this Brazilian influencer offers a combination of health and beauty content, business advice, motivational content, and lifestyle images. Known for both her beauty and business success, Claudia puts forward the image of the modern woman who can succeed in all aspects of life.”

Tip: If you look similar to someone famous, use that to your aid. Play on an already branded look and over time, make it your own.

Essie Golden

Up and coming Instagram model, Essie Golden, has 160,000 followers.

Her image is all about diversity and body positivity.

Essie is relatable and popular on Instagram because she keeps it real and encourages her audience to embrace their differences! Of course, if you’re going to become an Instagram model, you need to use your platform to make a difference.

Tip: Tag brands in your photos even if you aren’t partnering with them! It’s a great way to be seen by more brands.

How Much Do Instagram Models Make?

Thankfully, some Instagram models have spilled the beans on how much they make per sponsored post. The numbers will blow your mind!


Rachel Brathen from @yoga_girl has 2.1 million followers on Instagram. She centers her photos around fitness, family and of course, yoga.

Rachel shares the realities of motherhood through her funny and honest captions. Simultaneously, she shares amazing photographs that will make any follower jealous!

However, it’s not all just cute kids and pretty beaches in Rachel’s life. She’s also rolling in cash. In fact, for each sponsored post, Rachel charges $25,000 minimum!

She doesn’t do a lot of sponsored posts. She won’t need to since doing one every so often will get her enough cash to keep going for a while!

Tip: Don’t swamp your followers with sponsored posts. It is obvious you’re just in it for the money. Instead, spread them out. Do no more than one a week!


Even micro influencers can make a good income on Instagram! You don’t need millions of followers to bring in the cash.

Emily and Corey are outdoorsy Instagram models who celebrate van life. They have 178,000 followers. Typically, they charge between $500 and $1500 per sponsored post.

As mentioned, they partner with brands relevant to their passion. They target like-minded nomads so the products they promote, like Mountain Khakis, will appeal to their audience, resulting in sales!

Tip: Review each product proposed to you as a sponsored post. Your followers will love it if you do the research and ensure the product is eco-friendly, ethically made and organic!

How Much Should You Charge As An Instagram Model?

Of course, the bigger you are, the more you can charge! Celebrities like Kendall Jenner are charging $1 million per sponsored post. She has 100 million followers so this works out at around 1% of her following.

That’s a pretty good rule to go by actually. Think 1% of your following.

If you have 1,000 followers, charge $10 per sponsored post.

With 1 million Instagram followers, you could charge around $10,000 per sponsored post.

If you are successful on Instagram, it’s a great transition into starting a YouTube channel.

Youtube is where the big bucks are. For YouTubers with over 7 million followers, they can charge around $300,000 for a sponsored video. That’s roughly 4% of their following!

The Contraversy Around Instagram Models

Of course, it’s not all sunshine, rainbows, and bucketloads of cash as an Instagram model.

Instagram models are at the forefront of controversy. Most of it surrounds the fact that everything on Instagram is surface level. What you see on Instagram is posed and “fake”.

Instagram model, Amanda Elise Lee, opened up about the hard parts of being so famous online.

The fitness enthusiast has over 12 million followers on Instagram. She revealed her salary is in the high six figures since she charges around $20,000 for a sponsored post and $350 per hour of fitness training.

However, she admits she got carried away by the attention on Instagram when she posted pictures in more revealing outfits.

“Once I got all the followers, I reevaluated things — like, is this really me?” she says. “For my mental health, I don’t want to get so wrapped up in perfection. I want to be more confident in myself without trying so hard.”

Although she tries to be authentic online, she still deals with insecurities. She only poses with her “good side” and even Facetunes her photos.

So while Instagram models look like they’re living a luxurious flawless life, traveling the world and partnering with amazing brands, they are still insecure and flawed humans.

You can’t believe everything you see online.

However, if you’re interested in this lifestyle, make sure you stay true to yourself and follow the tips we’ve shared!

Tip: Don’t think that these Instagram models are doing all the work themselves. Most of the best models use an automation app like to grow following, engage, and free a good chunk of time so they can focus on creating great content.


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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