Wouldn’t you love to be one of them? Here’s how they do it!
There are countless stories out there about Instagrammers who are making money from pictures they promote and share daily. As entrepreneurs looking to make money too, we may have the thought that we can do this as well. Similar to YouTubers and bloggers, Instagrammers know how to use influence and reach to their advantage. Combined reach and influence offer many opportunities for Instagram influencers whether they are just looking for some extra cash or have a burning passion to build a profitable business.
If you’ve already built a pretty significant following, then you should use earning commissions to your advantage. Incorporating links on Instagram can be challenging. Hence, signing up with affiliate platforms can circumvent this by connecting brands with consumers.
An engaged audience plays a major role in monetization on Instagram. If you have 1,000 followers who are engaged, the potential to make money is there. On the other hand, if you have a much larger following but they are not commenting, liking or sharing your comments, then you are not dazzling the “heart” of your Instagram universe.
Joining an influencer community is another way to start earning money on Instagram. It’s also an excellent way to make new connections. There are many platforms out there to explore. Some may be a good fit whereas others may not. It is dependent on your niche and what you are looking for.
With enough Instagram followers, brands may even reach out to you — but until then, Instagram influencer communities make it easier to find brands willing to pay for your reach, photo skills, and unique voice. Instagram influencer communities create a database of influencers for brands to work with. Brands win, because they can easily find influencers to work with. Instagrammers win, because they can find sponsored posts without a bajillion followers. And the influencer community wins because, well, they do take a cut of what you earn.
There are dozens of different types of influencer communities, and they all have different requirements, perks and persona. Here are just a few to consider:
Heartbeat: A platform focusing on female influencers, Heartbeat’s new app pairs potential influencers with brands looking for a similar audience. Besides the female focus, Heartbeat is different because the software matches Instagrammers to brands based on a series of questions about what you like and what you post. There’s no minimum follower count, but the pay isn’t always monetary — some brands trade for free products instead.
If you’re wondering how to find brands to work with, Shopify provides some excellent ideas. This platform also mentions several sites to check out that may increase your chances of being discovered. It may take some time to find brands that are a good fit for your account and audience. However, you have to begin somewhere. Who knows, some of these marketplaces could be your ticket to making money.
If you’re big enough, chances are brands will find you. But you can also look for brands to work with that are on a similar level in terms of personality and values, so your audience won’t feel like you’re “selling out”.
You can reach out to them directly to try to work out a deal, but you can also list yourself on one of the many influencer marketplaces out there to increase your chances of being discovered:
1) Shoutcart: Sell a “shout out” to your audience on behalf of a brand, regardless of how large your following is.
2) Fohr Card: Connect your Instagram, blog, YouTube channel, and other social platforms to create an influencer “card” that shows your different profiles and total reach for brands shopping around for a partnership. You also get access to a list of brands and their wants, so you can take the initiative to reach out too.
3) Grapevine: If you have 5000 or more followers, you can list yourself in the Grape Vine marketplace for the opportunity to work with like-minded brands.
4) Crowd Tap: Do small content creation tasks to earn rewards. This is great if you’ve got a smaller audience. Available in the U.S only.
5) indaHash: Brands put up campaigns that you can participate in. Post a picture with the specified hashtags on Instagram and get paid. You need 700 engaged followers to be eligible.
The rules vary when it comes to sponsored content, but to be on the safe side and respect your audience’s trust, consider adding a #sponsored hashtag to indicate sponsored posts.