Making a living through Instagram is undoubtedly possible, especially if you put the time and commitment into creating a high-quality profile. You aren't restricted to just trying to sell physical products and services; there are plenty of other ways to rake in the cash, which you may not have even been aware of.
Regardless of your follower count, it's important that you have completed the following checklist below, as only then is your profile ready to be monetized:
- Filling out your bio with the correct information is very important. This should include your contact information, where you're from, and what you are about. As an example: "Fashion blogger from London, with an addiction to coffee. Business inquiries: [email protected]"
- Although you are probably already doing this, posting often is key to not only growing your follower numbers, but it shows consistency.
- All your photos should be of the highest quality. If only a couple are good, when people are browsing through all of your photos, it's likely that they will be put off if a lot of them are pixelated or out of focus.
- Every photo should have relevant hashtags, as well as not being hashtag spammed.
- Engage as much as you can with your current followers, as well as engaging on other people's photos that are in your industry or niche.
Once you believe that your profile checks all of the above, then it's time to start looking at your monetization options.
Affiliate marketing is essentially getting paid a percentage of a sale that you have helped to facilitate. This is not new at all, as affiliate marketing is as old as the internet itself. Your best bet is to post an attractive image that highlights whatever product you are trying to promote, in order to get interested people to click your unique URL. It's important that potential customers click your URL, otherwise, you will not get paid for your efforts.
You're able to put your affiliate URL in your caption, but only the URL in your bio will be physically clickable. To make the URL look a little neater, it's customary to use one of the many URL shortening services that are available. Although, the best method is to actually put your affiliate link onto your own blog, and then channel your followers to your blog first.
This type of marketing is more popular with fashion and clothing profiles; but, it can literally be applied to anything. If you don't specialize in a particular niche, signing up to Amazon Affiliates will enable you to become an affiliate marketer for every single thing that is sold on Amazon.
If you're in the travel industry, or a travel blogger, then trying to set up your own affiliate links with hotels and airlines could produce you some serious financial opportunities, as long as people booked through your link.
As you can see, the possibilities with affiliate marketing are almost endless and can be applied to virtually every major niche.
Sponsored posts are likely what most people think when you mention about making money on Instagram. If your profile has engaging and passionate followers, you will be able to make money by creating a specific post that is promoting a product or service for a brand. You have likely seen these all the time and are usually accompanied by specific brand hashtags or brand mentions.
Because of how popular regular people can become on Instagram, brands often do not require any formal ambassadors to help promote their products. It's a lot more common to give handouts to a bunch of smaller influencers, rather than just giving everything to the most popular account in the niche.
Of course, it is important that whatever service or product you are trying to promote, fits in with your profile. Otherwise, not only will it look obvious that you're doing a paid promotion, but it may result in some of your fanbase unfollowing you.
Sell your photos
If you are a keen amateur or established professional, Instagram can be a great way to advertise your shots to agencies or businesses. It's important that you add a discreet watermark to every photo that you upload, as well as a small amount of detail in the caption to provide selling information.
Be sure to have an active presence, as well as to try and network with other professional photographers or agencies if possible.
A more passive approach is to put your images on websites like Twenty20, which is essentially a marketplace for photos.
Promote your own business
If you run a business, and it is in a niche that can be applied to Instagram, then it's important that you utilize this to its full potential.
If you run an ecommerce type of business, use your profile to post images that cannot be found on your website. Behind the scenes style of imagery can be hugely popular, as it not only lets people see into the world of your business but also adds a small amount of exclusive viewing for those who are passionate enough to follow you.
Another great use of your profile is to post customers photos. Get customers to tag you in their photos, or get them to use specific hashtags, then use one of the popular Instagram repost apps to upload their photo onto your profile. This is a tried and tested method which will not only make your customers feel more valued, but it is also a way to show people customer testimonials.
Sell your Instagram account
Whether your whole purpose was to create an authority account to sell, or if you've just had enough of the platform and wish to move on, there will certainly be lots of people who will be happy to part ways with some of their cash in order to obtain your account.
There are many websites dedicated to buying and selling social media accounts, but if you do decide to sell, be sure to never give away any of your login information before receiving money beforehand, unless you use a non-affiliated middleman.
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