UPDATED: October 13, 2022

If you are on Instagram then you are probably aware of what an influencer is. What you may not know, however, is that you too can be an influencer and make money from Instagram. 

The influencer marketing industry is growing and thriving and is estimated to reach $16.4 billion in 2022. This is because there has been a rise in the number of brands that are willing to spend money on influencers to advertise their products.

If you are one of those people looking for ways to make money on Instagram, then this blog is for you. 

It may seem like an impossible task to become an Influencer on Instagram. Still, with the right tools and a good strategy, you can  make money even if you don't have a degree on Instagram.

Who Is A Social Media Influencer?

A social media influencer is an individual who impacts people's buying decisions because they have their trust. They have become authorities in their niche or industry by making informative posts and reviews that help their followers. 

Usually, Influencers have a large following or audience. However, in recent times, we've seen the rise of influencers that have less than ten thousand followers but still manage to get brand deals. 

This brings us to the next point: what are the kind of Influencers? We've grouped them into four:

  • Nano-Influencers: They have fewer followers than other Influencers but are experts in their niche. Their following ranges from 1,000 to 10,000. Nano influencers are important because they have better interaction with their followers. 
  • Micro-Influencers: These influencers have amassed a following of between 10,000 and 50,000. They also have a highly engaged audience that resonates with their niche.
  • Macro-Influencers: They have between 50,000 to 1 million followers. Micro-influencers are also called Mid-tier influencers. They are professionals who have taken their expertise to Instagram.
  • Mega-Influencers: These guys are at the very top, with a following that is more than a million. A lot of influencers in this category are celebrities. These guys may not have a close relationship with their audiences, but they can pull a crowd. Mega-influencers are best for brand endorsements.

How Much Do Instagram Influencers Make?

The truth is that Influencer marketing is making waves, and people are getting rich through it. When you start, you may not earn so much. However, it can count as a side job until you hit it big.

The amount of money Instagram influencers make on Instagram varies depending on their follower count. Their following determines their reach and the reach is what their partners need. Therefore, the more followers and engagement an influencer has, the more they make.

According to Shopify, here's what Influencers make based on their follower count:

  • Nano-influencer: 1,000–10,000 followers ($10–$100 per post)
  • Micro-influencer: 10,000–50,000 followers ($100–$500 per post)
  • Macro-influencer: 50,000–1 million followers ($500–$10,000 per post)
  • Mega-influencer: 1 million and above followers ($10,000–$1 million+ per post)

Fun fact: Dwayne Johnson (aka therock) is the most expensive Instagram influencer. He has  over 300 million followers. On average, He charges up to $1.015 million per post.

Other top Instagram influencers are Cristiano Ronaldo, Kendall Jenner, Leo Messi, Ariana Grande, Khaby Lame etc.

Good thing you now know the basics about Instagram influencers. Let's get to how you can make that dough as an influencer!

5 Ways To Make Money On Instagram As An Influencer

1. Collaborations And Paid Partnerships

A great place to start making money as an Instagram influencer is through collaborations and partnerships. Interestingly, Instagram has features such as Instagram collab to make collaborations easier.

Brands will not choose just pick a random influencer to market their products. They find influencers that are closely related to their niche or industry. 

Therefore, to make headway, you have to choose and focus on a niche. Endeavor to post high-quality content in your area of specialization consistently. 

Brands don't want an inconsistent influencer. In fact, such an Influencer may never receive any recognition from brands as they'll come across as unserious.

For instance, if your niche is skin care, then you must give your followers tips for healthy skin consistently. Recommend skin care products and make review videos etc.

Also, study your audience to understand what they want. With that information, you will create content for better connection and interaction with your followers.

Also, if you buy Instagram followers and likes, it'll put you under the spotlight for brands to see. Brands favor those with many followers. And if you have impressive engagement too, that's even sweeter!

Unless you have a very high follower count, getting discovered may be a little difficult. Thankfully, you can join influencer marketplaces where brands can discover you. Examples are Upfluence, Dovetale, Fohr, Neoreach, Crowdtap, Tapfluence, CreatorIQ etc.

2. Start Up An Online Store

With the trust and credibility you have gained as an Influencer, you can open your own online store. Since your personal brand is already known and established on Instagram, you must not wait around for partners. You can start by selling your own products or branded merch. Put your brand logo, mascot or a catchphrase you are popular for on your merch.

Influencer and gaming video creator Khaby Lame, is making money from Instagram, not only as an influencer but also as an Instagram store owner. His Instagram store, @khabyshopofficial is like a shop where his followers can purchase his branded merch.

3. Set Up Live Badges

Instagram Live has been very beneficial in improving brand-audience interaction. Creators such as artists, chefs, and fitness coaches have used the live feature to give their audience value.

In May of 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Instagram rolled out Live badges to encourage support for creators beyond Instagram likes, comments and shares.

During a Live session, viewers can purchase these badges and creators can earn from them. These Live badges cost $0.99, $1.99 and $4.99. Heart symbols will appear next to comments from people who’ve purchased your Live badges. One heart for $0.99, two hearts for $1.99 and three hearts for $4.99.

To turn on Instagram Live Badges:

  • Go to your Profile and tap Professional Dashboard.
  • Activate monetization and wait to get approval.
  • After approval, you’ll see the Set Up Badges button, tap on it.

For better results, promote your upcoming IG Live video so your followers can be aware beforehand. Don't forget to appreciate and give shoutouts to those who make purchases during the Live session.

4. Offer Online Courses Or Masterclasses

The reason you have made it to the influencer level is that you are offering something of value to your audience. It could be fashion, financial, fitness, or food-related content. However, you can do more for your benefit by starting an exclusive class or tutorial for your paying followers. 

Set up a free incomplete package for your non-paying audience, but put a link where people can purchase the full package.

5. Join An Affiliate Marketing Program

Affiliate marketing is a strategy where a business pays commission to an external website, blogger or influencer for sales generated from its referrals. 

As an affiliate, your job is to use your influence on your followers to make sales for the business you partner with. 

The online retailer will provide you with a special promo code or a trackable link. You'll make posts and ask your followers to make purchases from your partners using your promo code or link. With this, you get to earn a commission on every purchase made. 

Amazon associates and LTK are good options for affiliate marketing programs.

To A Money-Making End

Influencer marketing on Instagram is very promising and lucrative. To grow your follower count and become an Instagram influencer, make quality content and relate with your audience. Earning as an influencer may not come on a platter but do stay consistent and implement these tips.