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How do I make money on Instagram?

You may want Instagram to be your side hustle, or you may want to turn it into your full time career. Either way, you need to make money!


Diversify your income! This sounds really corporate but all this means is to have as many different ways to make money as possible. In short, don’t put all your eggs in one basket!


See below a list of some of the ways you can make money on Instagram:


  • Branded Content

  • Affiliate Marketing

  • Fan Funding

  • Sell stuff!

  • Licence your content

  • Start more channels


But what does this all mean…?


Branded content


Brands pay you to make content promoting their brand or product. Whenever you see someone with a #AD or 'Paid partnership with...' on their content, that is a piece of branded content. This is one of the main ways creators make money on Instagram and can be very lucrative.


Brands reach out either directly, or through agencies; via email or DMs or through your management if you are signed to a management company. For tips on what to do through all stages of the branded content process, from getting work to producing content and telling the brand how well your content performed, check out our Creator Questions and Toolkit.


These aren’t the same as ADs you would see on TV or in magazines where it’s very obvious that it’s an AD, with top production and lots of scripting. Branded content is native to your own channel, and should be you authentically promoting a product or brand in a way that really resonates with your audience.


It’s really important to know your value when pricing yourself for a campaign, and to make sure you create content that is authentic to you and your audience.

Yes you will have to include key messaging and other bits that may not necessarily be totally organic and normal for your content (after all, the brand is paying you to promote their product) so you may need to compromise here, but you should do it in a way that doesn’t make the branded content look completely out of place on your shelves of content.


Make sure you include your brand disclosures though! It could land you in hot water with advertising or consumer standards bodies like the ASA and CMA in the UK or the FTC in the US. Your audience would also rather you were truthful with them if content is an ad, as they want to feel you are being honest with them.


Affiliate marketing:


You’re wearing a new jumper in your Instagram Story and you want to share the link so your audience can buy one themselves as you know they will go crazy for it! Great, you’ve got them to buy the jumper, giving the jumper brand more money, but what’s in it for you?


If you use an affiliate link, you can earn money when someone buys an item because they clicked on your link. When someone clicks on that link and buys from the site the link drives to, you can earn commission. They don’t even have to necessarily buy the exact product you were linking them to.


The amount of commission you earn varies, so it’s good to have a look.


The way it works is you create an affiliate link from an affiliate link site, and use that in your bio, IG Story swipe up, video description boxes or wherever else you are telling your audience to click from.


There are great companies like RewardStyle who generate affiliate links and 21 Buttons.


Remember, this won’t be for all brands. Only participating brands who have signed up to affiliate link programs will have this, and some affiliate companies have different brands, so shop around if you can’t find the brand that you need.


It’s also always good to track your links as you can use this information when either selling yourself to brands or asking for a higher fee. Sites like bitly.com are great for tracking the number of clicks.


If you are always showing your audience new products or they are always asking you for recommendations, this can be a great way to make money.


If you get a lot of gifting from brands, this can also be a great way to earn money from the brand, even if they haven’t paid you an upfront fee for promoting their brand.



Fan funding


Your audience follows you because they love your content and feel a part of your community. Offer your audience the chance to support you to create the content that they love. This can be monthly membership, or one off payments.


In return for their financial support, you provide access to exclusive content and your community.


There are great companies like Patreon who have nailed this, or you can use Super Chat on Live Streams on YouTube


Communities are super important and this is a great way to get closer to your audience, and to help your audience support you.


Sell stuff!


Use your audience to sell your own products! This could be merch or a product you have created yourself.


Brands want to use your audience to promote their own products, so why not sell your own products to your audience?


Your audience values your opinion and you know what products they get excited for. Use this knowledge to develop products that your audience would want to buy! This could be as simple as merch, or maybe a jewellery line...


Licence your content


You can get publishers or brands to pay to use your content. E.g if one of your videos went viral, you can get a publisher to pay you a fee to either use the content on their site, or to buy the video outright


Start more channels


You have a following on Instagram - great! Now you have this following, it’s a great idea to use that following to help you grow on a different platform. What if Instagram went down? Having more channels to your bow protects you if one of the other platforms went down as it gives you options. Look at what happened during the adpocalypse!


YouTube is a great place to start, as you can earn money on your organic content through AdSense. Remember though, what works on Instagram will not necessarily work on YouTube, so get your audience to input on what they would like to see on your YouTube channel!

You don’t have to do all of these things, but it’s a great idea to try out a couple of different ways to make money on Instagram! If you have any questions, drop us a message or comment on our Instagram, or email kerrie@creatorkind.com


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