The Beginners Step-by-Step Guide to Making Money using Instagram

This is the first time I am looking over at covering a specific social media platform in order to generate revenue. Well, there are numerous bloggers out there just like you who are looking out at earning money from just one source being blogging or affiliate marketing.

Instagram is known to be used and loved by hundreds of brand influencers across the globe. Since you have decided to make Instagram your second, third or nth source of income, I would recommend you to sticking to a specific niche and not mixing up the focus of your account.

The most lucrative option is fashion, where brands and designers spend over $1.5 billion on a yearly basis sponsoring Instagram posts, according to Harper’s Bazaar.

I have been closely following a number of celebrity influencers and if you have a close look at their posts, most of them are sponsored by brands, companies and designers. A few quick examples are Beyonce and Selena Gomez.

Exquisite popular fashion blogger Danielle Bernstein (Forbes 30 Under 30) has more than 1.7 million followers on Instagram. She is 25 years old (…off the record…Danielle and I are born in May) and is known to being using her popular blog, We Wore What to indirectly woo sponsors who end up paying $15,000 – $22,000 per Instagram post.

Danielle Bernstein

Yes, $15,000 – $22,000 for one post on Instagram !

You ought to be ready to build your own fashionable and creative Instagram empire?

Earning Six-Seven Figures for Instagram Posts

Even though Danielle declined to share with Harper’s her exact income she makes through Instagram, she stated that her last year income was “mid-six figures” through posts on Instagram.

Hold on a minute ! That payday does not even include the perks that come along with the blogging lifestyle though fashion that will make your network, learn and dive deeper into the niche.

How Danielle Bernstein Makes Money

Danielle’s 10,000-odd Instagram posts include everything from her at a game wearing jeans, a T-shirt and a cap to a workout regime that she usually follows. No doubt, she posts regularly and the styles through fashion she shows get enormous attention.

What could be the secrets to her success ? 

She Has 1.7 Million Followers

Another fact, hands down is the number of followers you got there. You got to remember that brands pay for views and the eyes that will see your posts.

Instagrammers with a few hundred or thousand followers could charge up to $600 to $4,500 per post, but as soon as you get to the the six-million-follower range, you can earn anywhere between $22,000 and $110,000 for a single Instagram post.

Hard to believe ? It’s not, actually. Moving on further….

Danielle Negotiates Exclusives

“Everything’s negotiable,” says Danielle. She has no problem negotiating exclusives with various brands which leads to say that you cannot be shy in this game.

Sometimes brands request her not to feature competitors in the same shot or a good example would be that lululemon shorts cannot be worn with a Nike tank top.

There are times which I have personally come across when I work with companies, there are brands which ask that a certain competitor or two should not appear on the Instagram feed in a designated time frame, such as a two weeks after their post.

Such exclusive deals assist advertisers to get the word out about their apparel and accessories without people going to other brands and that is where you should cash in just like Danielle. When they make such requests, she says “Yes” and requests them to pay a Premium for such an exclusive.

Smart right ? 

Bernstein always Works With Agents

It is always good to have a professional in the loop when you are negotiating terms that are complex with different clients. Taking the case of Danielle, she goes through Next Talent which is a premier modeling agency to assist her in business. The agency acts as a middleman in finding her clients, negotiating a variety of deals and making exclusive agreements.

When you have a team behind with you, it is easier to focus on the part of the business you are good at, and that is “looking good in front of the camera”, “meeting people” and “smiling”.

How to Start with Making Money on Instagram

I suppose you have your Instagram account and feed, up and running. You are the style maven of your neighborhood and you just cannot wait to get some free samples and have the cash start coming in.

If you are a not so popular or medium popular fashionista looking to cash in some bucks through your Instagram feed, what would be the best way to get started ?

Fill a Niche Properly

The hottest instagrammers right now are ‘fashion Instagrammers’, and there are so many brands out there willing to shell out for placement on feeds that are popular which will in turn give them brand awareness, engagement and return on investment.

In order to stand out among the crowd, you will need to find a broadly appealing niche and encash on it.

Remember to do prior research about it. In case you want to make a huge mark in a market that is highly populated, the best would be to reconsider and focus on a sub-niche and then branch out at the right time.

For example, Instagram is flooded with beauty bloggers, but you might want to consider focusing on a sub-niche such as ‘nail art at home’.

This can be tricky niche because you want a niche that appeals to attract a devoted larger audience. Trust me, start small and you will become synonymous out there !

For whatever I have started in my life, I have always ‘Gone Local and then Global’. Make a difference in a small area and then set out to impress a larger audience.

Stunning and Appealing Bio on Instagram

Here’s what ! You know yourself the best and to let your potential audience out there know who you are, you will have to be really simple as I think you are.

Some of the tips would be :

  1. Do not add to many Emojis
  2. Explain what exactly you do
  3. Where you live
  4. Email Information / Mobile / Chat (These options are available through a Button configuration on Instagram)
  5. A Profile Photo that explains you

Get Engaging Followers

The immediate next step to success on Instagram is to get followers and by followers, I mean a whole lot of them. Every follower you gain directly means that it is more money in your pocket.

How are you going to find followers? …..(I usually get this question)

Treat your Instagram as a business. Start by creating a post schedule and do not sway away from sticking to it.

Make sure your posts on Instagram are things people want to look at and make sure you post regularly.

If you want to bring sponsors into the mix, one secret is that your photos have to look great !

Once you begin taking stellar shots and start sharing them with the world, couple of brands will be willing to recruit you to help them promote their brand. I would recommend you to create visually interesting images that can engage your audience.

Get in touch with an Agent

As soon as you reach the upper echelon of Instagram-land, you will need someone who can ease your work and help you with communicating with brands/companies, negotiate deals and bring in more business.

Why to use an Agency

Speaking about the world of fashion, having someone on your side can be crucial. I would appreciate if you consider working with a good agency that will officially represent your needs and grow your business.

Focus on getting Media Attention

The more followers you can get across time and the more appealing (…agency help works here) you are to potential sponsors, you can get the media to notice you.

If you are able to get some positive press talking about your work and you as a whole, go for it! In case a journalist approaches you for an interview, just make yourself be available because you definitely require these small initial boosts.

Even better is to reach out to journalists and recite your wonderful story. Help a Reporter Out is quite an effective resource online that will help you in connecting with journalists in need of sources.

I have always believed that ‘networking’ is the key to life and success. If you would like to use more public relation tools to reach out to more people, do check out the blog I wrote earlier about the 7 Tools and Services to Get PR for your Startup.

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