According to the latest Instagram statistics, the platform has 1.704 billion users worldwide. While it got its start as a photo sharing app, it’s transformed into a business platform. Millions of entrepreneurs are taking advantage of its selling power, from service providers to nonprofits to dropshipping ecommerce business owners, to make money on Instagram.

You may be asking yourself: How do people make money on Instagram? Can I pull it off myself? How is selling on Instagram different from other types of ecommerce business?

In this article, we’ll look at a few tactics you can start using today, so you can join the ranks of successful entrepreneurs who earn money from Instagram.

Can You Make Money on Instagram?

Absolutely. As long as you have some beautiful and creative images to use, you can spark the attention of Instagram’s millions of users.

Now you might be thinking: Right, I get that it’s possible, but how the heck do I start? 

To start, here are a few ways you can make money on Instagram:

  • Focus on sponsored posts for brands that want to reach your audience, making you the perfect medium to do that.
  • Become an affiliate and earn money by selling products that belong to other brands.
  • Offer to be a virtual assistant for an Instagram influencer. A lot of them are seeking help to get things off their plate.
  • Write captions for businesses without in-house content staff.
  • Sell on Instagram. You can sell either a physical or digital product, or even a service.
  • Sell your photography

The enthusiasts of this platform are always looking out for new ways to earn money from Instagram.

How to Make Money on Instagram?

Instagram is ideal for selling products that photograph well.

If you have some photography skills, you’ll have a huge advantage for the platform. Bonus points if you’re photogenic yourself and want to bring some extra life to your product photography. Don’t have a camera? Learn how to take stunning photos with your phone with our product photography course. Nothing is going to stop you from earning money from the photo and video sharing app.

Here are 7 business models to make money on Instagram:

1. Become an influencer and make money from sponsored posts.

If you can reach coveted influencer status, you can use your Instagram profile to promote all kinds of products from all kinds of brands..

If you’re not familiar, an influencer is someone who has built a reputation and loyal following by sharing regularly on their social accounts. They have a good following and they’re able to convince their audiences to jump onto trends and buy certain products.

They have this power because they’ve spent a lot of time building trust and relationships with their audience.

Brands tend to partner with influencers to do sponsored posts that help spread the word about their products. To get to this point, you need to grow your Instagram following as well as regularly come up with posts that generate strong engagement from your followers.

Top influencers make thousands of dollars per sponsored post. Keep in mind that it takes a long time and a lot of hard work and talent to get to this point. It’s attainable for sure, but make sure you manage your expectations if you choose this route.

As an influencer, it’s extremely important for you to know your audience. You need to understand who those people are – their interests, values, needs, and wants.

This way, you know which brands would best fit them. If you’ve switched to an Instagram business account, you can research your audience stats a bit more through the Instagram Insights feature.

If you’ve created a noteworthy online presence, chances are big brands will reach out to you. But as you’re building, you also find brands yourself that you think match your personality and values the best.

Reach out to them directly (through Instagram or through their websites) to try to negotiate a deal. You can also list yourself on an influencer marketplace to increase your chances of being found by a big brand.

As an extra tip, be careful not to lose the trust of your existing audience in the process of making money from sponsored posts. It’s always a good idea to use an Instagram hashtag that tells people it’s a sponsored post (something simple like #sponsored or #ad).

2. Become an affiliate and make money selling other people’s products.

You can sell other people’s products and get a cut. There are loads of people who make money from Instagram through affiliate programs.

The difference between an influencer and an affiliate is that an affiliate is working towards making sales for the partnering brand in exchange for a commission. On the other hand, the influencer is mainly aiming to create awareness. (If you’re only interested in getting exposure for your brand, you might want to go through these brand awareness tips to gain traction).

Affiliates make money through a trackable link or a promo code to make sure that you know exactly which sales came directly from your posts.

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