Instagram isn’t just a place to post aesthetic pics and share your life with your followers anymore – it’s a place to make money and run a business! Whether you have less than one thousand followers or over one hundred thousand followers, there are many ways to make money on Instagram. If you want to be a full-time Creator or Influencer, Instagram is a great place to start monetizing your influence.
In this article, we’re going to cover some main ways Creators can be making money on Instagram in 2022 and show you several examples of how you can make money online using your Instagram account. If you’re willing to put into the work, before you know it you’ll have multiple streams of revenue coming from your social- including passive income from content that inspires and helps your audience too!
Make Money On Instagram In 2022
Before we dive into the different examples of how to earn money on Instagram, we want to talk about monetization in general. Making money as a Creator on social really breaks down into two categories of customers or clients, and having a broad understanding of Instagram monetization will better prepare you to decide which avenue you want to explore first.
If you want to make money on Instagram, you should have a clear understanding if you are either selling directly to your audience or selling access to your audience before you start.
1) Selling Directly To Your Audience
The first approach to Instagram money making is selling directly to your audience. This can take on many different forms, but the general concept is that you have created something– a product or service–and your goal is to market and sell it to your followers.
It could be a line of merch, or even an online course covering a topic in your niche. Whatever it is, your goal is to create and sell a service or product that your followers would be interested in purchasing from you.
2) Selling Access To Your Audience
On the other hand, many Creators making money on Instagram are selling access to their audience. That involves pitching to brands and showing companies why you are the perfect person to help them reach more customers on Instagram and help them achieve their goals.
In this situation, the Creator isn’t making and promoting their own products or services, but using their influence to work with brands instead.
You don’t have to choose between these two ways of making money on Instagram as a Creator! In fact most don’t; many Influencers have their own products or courses and also earn money working with brands to showcase the company’s products or services to their audience.
But if you’re starting to think about monetizing on Instagram, it’s important to have a basic understanding of these two general ways of doing so. Ask yourself if you want to sell to your followers directly or if you want to look for ways to grow an audience and then pitch to brands.
Like we said, you don’t have to pick between the two, but make sure you approach the journey to making money on Instagram by thinking about it in this way. This will help you strategize and set yourself up for success.
7 Ways To Make Money With Instagram
The many options for making money on Instagram might seem overwhelming, but trust us when we say that having a lot of options is good. For starters, not every way of making money on Instagram is going to be a perfect fit for you. The ones you choose to go with will probably depend on your interests and where you are in your Creator journey.
So while you’re reading this post, take notes! Which ideas sound amazing? Which ones do you think probably aren’t for you (at least right now?) If you want to make money on Instagram, you have to start thinking about which ideas sound like the best fit either for now or in the future so you can start building a gameplan to reach your goals.
Secondly, having a lot of options for monetizing on Instagram means you will be able to have multiple revenue streams. Being able to monetize from multiple different avenues is key for scaling your Instagram business and becoming a full time content Creator.
Depending on where you are in your business, there might be some options worth exploring right now and some ideas to put a pin in for later when you’re ready. It’s time to start goal setting and thinking about where you want your business to be so you can begin incorporating these ideas for monetizing on Instagram!
1) Making Money On Instagram with Online Courses
If you’re a Creator or Influencer with a strategized niche and content plan, your influence and your accounts are going to grow naturally…and that’s awesome! But it’s going to be a lot of work and there’s going to be a point where you can’t trade time for money anymore.
In order to grow and scale your business, you’ll have to find ways to monetize that don’t necessarily mean more money made because of more time spent working on projects. That’s why when we’re working with Influencers to help them monetize their Instagram, we love recommending that they create an online course.
Online courses do have a large upfront time investment, but there are platforms that make it easier. One of our favorites is Thinkific, a platform that helps Creators make, market, and sell their online course. Plus, the work to set up an online course more than pays for itself because once the initial foundation is laid, an online course:
- Exists as an additional revenue stream
- Is extremely scalable because it doesn’t require trading time for money
- Can help bring in money regardless of follower count
It’s easy to get caught up in follower count, but what making money on social media really comes down to is how many followers in your audience are actually going to buy from you. Thinkific has a calculator tool right on their website that shows you how much money you can make with a course each month. Think about it: A $500 course sold to just 10 people each month can be $5,000 of additional income.
We’ve seen online courses be a huge money making opportunity for smaller accounts, regardless of niche. Many people think courses are only for marketing or social media topics but we’ve seen successful courses for niche topics such as on travel tips to visit the Greek Islands, how to move to Italy, Landing scholarships for college and the list goes on. It’s about figuring out what your community or audience wants to learn from you or more about and then creating a course to help them do just that!
2) Selling Your Own Content
If you’re creating content on Instagram, you’re essentially building a photo and video portfolio of your work. And this content is something that you can make money from!
While we work with Influencers and Content Creators, we also work with brands at Sidewalker Daily to help them build out their Influencer campaigns and social media strategy. When we start the process of finding the perfect Influencers for our brand clients to work with, we don’t just go onto Instagram and look for people with the highest follower count. We take our clients’ goals into consideration and if it’s content for social media or online marketing initiatives then we look for Influencers and Creators who can create good, quality content that is right for the brand’s audience.
A Creator who has the photo and video skills to create eye-catching, quality content is valuable and not everyone has this ability! We see Creators who make a ton of money on Instagram by creating content for brands that don’t have the skills, tools or team to do it themselves. You can definitely reach out to brands and pitch yourself as just a Creator to create content for their company and a major benefit is no posting is required on your social account!
3) Pitching To Brands
One of the main ways people make money on Instagram is by working with brands. You see it all the time with larger accounts, but don’t be fooled into thinking that pitching to brands is only for Instagrammers with hundreds of thousands of followers.
More and more brands are realizing the power of working with micro-Influencers and the value of niche creators. If you have an extremely niche account, some brands might think that the idea of working with you is a no-brainer! Access to your audience would mean access to a group of people who value your opinions and recommendations on a particular subject, and this could be a huge benefit for them as a brand.
The Influencer market is booming, and we don’t see this changing anytime soon. We help Creators all the time learn how to pitch to brands, create media kits and land paid brand deals. Our Pitching To Brands Mastercourse has tons of amazing reviews of how we’ve helped even Micro Influencers earn a 5 figure income just through brand partnerships. You can learn more about the Pitching To Brands Mastercourse here and take a look at all of our Influencer and Creator success stories from investing in themselves and taking the course!
People love being part of a community that surrounds them with like-minded people and helps them learn everything about a certain topic that they care about. So, setting up a membership community is a really great way to make money on Instagram because your followers may be willing to pay monthly or yearly for a membership if you offer a certain value they need or want.
This can take different forms, but one way we do it here at Sidewalker Daily is with our Inner Circle Creator membership community. This Sidewalker Daily Inner Circle is a program where Creators and Influencers can get expert coaching advice from our team of professional coaches, learn about industry trends and meet other like-minded Creators who want to help them grow and see them win. Having a community is great for growing knowledge, but it’s also a great way to hold yourself accountable to your business and goals.
You can promote your membership program on Instagram and invite your followers, audience and community to join in. Create content that showcases the value of your membership and make sure your Instagram bio has a link for people to join. Like we’ve been saying, making money on Instagram is all about finding ways to scale, and this is a great way to do that.
5) Use Instagram Creator Monetization Tools
Influencer marketing is continuing to grow into something that businesses really need to be a part of if they want to be relevant. It wasn’t always this way, but social media platforms are starting to respond to this shift because they know that Creators and Influencers want to be on platforms that help them make money.
Instagram has been steadily releasing updates to keep Creators engaged on the platform, and if you want to make money on Instagram, you’re going to need to learn how to use new tools as they come out. For example, Instagram is making a big investment in native affiliate tools and there’s a lot to expect coming down the pipeline (like badges and bonuses directly from the app!)
At the end of 2021, select Creators gained access to a native affiliate tool on Instagram, allowing Creators to choose products from Instagram Shops that they like and share them with their followers. When followers buy, the Creator gets a portion of the money. Keeping up with Instagram’s new tools on the app is a great way to make money on Instagram.
6) Affiliate Marketing
Instagram is creating native affiliate tools to keep Creators engaged with their platform, but affiliate marketing in general has been a way for people to make money on social media for a long time. There’s a few different ways to do affiliate marketing, but the basic concept is the same: Creators make money by referring their audience to products and services that they recommend.
It’s important to note that while affiliate programs can help someone make money online, it’s typically a smaller amount of income, especially at the beginning. An affiliate only pockets a percentage of the sale, so each commission can be small, especially for low priced items. Either way, everything adds up and affiliates help Creators boost their passive income for helping brands sell products or services they would recommend anyway.
If you have a lot of followers or reach, or an extremely engaged follower base, the money you make from promoting products you love can turn into an excellent revenue stream.
7) Make Money On Instagram By Getting Creative
These ideas for making money on Instagram are amazing and you can have a lot of success doing them. But, we want to leave you with this final piece of advice: get creative.
Let’s look at brand partnerships and how they’ve changed over the last few years. It used to be pretty straightforward, an Influencer and a brand come to an agreement that the Influencer will take some quality content with the brand’s product/service and share it with their audience in exchange for a partnership fee. Now, as the number of Creators pitching to brands grows, people have to get creative to stand out.
As an Instagram Creator, what creative ways can you support brands that get your follower’s attention? We recently worked with a Creator who partnered with a brand by pitching to them the idea of sponsoring a module within her course. It was a really cool idea that put a brand in the perfect position to reach individuals who are invested in the course topic, and the Creator was able to secure additional money for something they were already creating.
Learning How To Make Money On Instagram
If you were having doubts about learning how to make money on Instagram, we hope this article cleared some things up for you and inspired you to start going after your monetization goals! As a quick summary of what we went over, here are 7 ideas for making money on Instagram that you should consider as a Creator or Influencer:
1. Online courses are a great way to make money for Creators and Influencers, and your Instagram is the perfect place to promote the course.
2. Use your Instagram account like a portfolio to showcase your photo and video skills, then work with brands by selling them your content.
3. Pitch to brands and show them why a collaboration with you can help them grow their brand.
4. Memberships: Instagram is a great place to build a community and connect with like-minded people. Create a membership program that people can join for learning and inspiration on a specific niche topic relevant to your account and what you share.
5. Take advantage of Instagram’s monetization tools that are continuing to roll out.
6. Join affiliate programs and share recommended products with your followers to make money on Instagram.
7. Get creative! Always be thinking of new ideas and collaborations that you can do to stand out and grow your influence.
If you’re looking to make money on Instagram, we’d love to hear what you think of these options! Drop a comment below to let us know which of these ideas you’ll be trying or other ways you’re using your Instagram to monetize your Influence.
And if you’re still struggling to nail down your strategy and get the ball rolling, you can work with one of our expert Influencer and Creator coaches through one on one coaching. We can help you every step of the way to figure out how to make money online, land paid partnerships, and grow your influence.