You probably already know that Instagram is one of the fastest-growing marketing tools of the current generation. For this reason, anyone can create an Instagram profile, and make money with a bit of patience and a few tricks up their sleeve.
If you create a well-maintained, dedicated Instagram profile that produces high-quality content, you can definitely earn money like other people are doing already.
In this article, we teach you some techniques to apply to your Instagram content strategy, so that you can monetize it and ultimately become the influencer that you’ve always dreamed of being. Let’s dive in.
Create an Appealing Account
- Make a descriptive, creative username. Once your Instagram becomes famous, people will remember it by looking at your account’s username. For this reason and more, you need to make sure that your username is distinctive, memorable, an easy for people to say. You also need to make sure that your username for Instagram falls in line with your content theme. If you’re an artist, for example, then you will need to stick to something that closely resembles the type of art you produce.
- Make sure that you include the right information in your bio. There are a number of things that you might want to think about when creating the ultimate bio for your Instagram.
- The first is making sure that your description is rich, but concise, and includes your intent, motives, and what you plan on producing when it comes to your content.
- You might also want to include a link to your website if you’ve got one, as well as your work email address. If you are a business or service, you could include your PayPal details and if you are an expert in your industry, you might want to include a link to your resume.
- Make sure to land on the right theme for your content. Your Instagram business page is going to be different to your personal page, because everything on your business page needs to fit within a singular theme.
- You need to be able to find something that you believe society needs that doesn’t really have right now that lines up nicely with your talents. You also need to make sure your Instagram profile falls in line with Instagram’s terms and conditions.
- Optimize your descriptions and posts for your audience. This process is going to include making your photos aesthetically pleasing by using editing tools and filters. You can get creative and change background of photo online to create professional-grade compositions for free.
- You will also want to put a bit of time and effort into your post descriptions, so that your audience can get a good idea of what you are trying to portray. If you are marketing a product or service, then you might want to include a short sentence that describes the product or service, and how it can improve your audiences’ lives.
- We also recommend that you post between 2 a.m., and 5 p.m. However, take note of where you currently live, and the time zone before you decide when to post every day.
- Post more than once a day. If you actually want to be taken seriously on Instagram, it is important to post more than once a day. However, it is also important not to inundate your followers with content and focus instead on the quality. Even if this means reducing your content output to just a couple of posts a day, as long as it is high-quality, this is going to be better than posting 10 times a day. It’s also wise not to deviate too much from the general theme of your Instagram profile, but try to mix things up a bit every now and then.
- Read the comments. You might not think you have time to read the comments that people leave on your content, but this is an important part of growing your Instagram profile. Users will generally give you feedback, whether implicitly or explicitly, that can help you finetune future posts to tailor to the majority of your target audience. Of course, you aren’t going to be able to incorporate every piece of feedback that you get; instead just try to find common themes, and apply them to your content output.
- Be active on Instagram. Being active on Instagram is going to promote the name of your account and increase your overall likability. Make sure that you respond to comments whenever you can, but just keep in mind that once you reach a certain number of followers, you aren’t going to be able to achieve this. Also, we suggest that you favorite posts from users, accounts, and brands that you would like to work with. This is a great way to practice being a part of the community, while still trying to advance your Instagram success.
- Cross-promote your content. It’s all very well focusing on your Instagram profile, but if you want to do really well you will cross-promote your content on other social networks as well. It’s also important that you connect your Facebook, Twitter, and the rest of your social networks with your Instagram account, so that you can consolidate your audiences, and make your content go a long way. Of course, you might have to tailor your content for different audiences, based on what your goals are on other social networks.
Build Your Follower Base
- Set a goal for your followers. This needs to be based around your content theme. for example, if you plan on applying to collaborate with brands for marketing campaigns, most brands are going to require that you have more than 10,000 followers before you can start working with them.
- Use the right hashtags. If you are trying to reach a specific demographic with your Instagram profile, then using relevant hashtags is going to be a huge factor in being able to bridge that gap. Only use hashtags that are relevant to your content, as using clickbait keywords is going to frustrate people who are interested in following you, and you might even get flagged as spam.
- Comment and like other people’s photos. When you interact with people on Instagram, it’s important to not just reply to the people that are commenting on your content. It’s important that you comment and like other people’s photos as well. This is going to give you a lot of credibility, but it’s also going to expose your account name, which makes it easier for anyone who sees your comments and likes to check out your profile. Ideally, you will comment and like people’s content whom you would like to be following you. You can also do this on random accounts to attract followers. Yes, this process can be time-consuming, but it’s also a good way to earn a few new followers here and there.
- Promote your account on social media. Your other social media networks should already be fairly active based on the links that you have created with your Instagram profile; just make sure that they’re keeping up with the progress of your Instagram account. This can involve even just posting a link to your Instagram account on your Twitter or Facebook page, as this is a really good way to promote your content.
- Encourage engagement. Requesting an action or feedback from your followers is going to get them involved, and if your requests are interesting enough, they are going to attract more followers. There are a number of ways that you can facilitate engagement on your profile. The first is by hosting a giveaway for a service or product. Make sure that you ask your users to like and share your posts to qualify.
You can also ask your audience questions. Doing this is going to encourage them to respond, which is going to drum up interest in your content. Lastly, you can also take requests. If you’re using your Instagram profile to show photos, taking requests from users is going to get them personally invested in your content of the future.
- Use promotions. As we mentioned briefly above, hosting a giveaway is a great way to generate customer interest. Ask your giveaway participants to follow your Instagram profile to be a part of it, and then ask them to tag their friends, which will create a viral effect. Make sure to stick to Instagram’s promotion guidelines, so that you don’t get in trouble.
- Listen to what your followers are saying. If you have noticed a common request or complaint, don’t ignore it. Instead, find a way to implement this in your future content, so that you can satisfy the majority of your followers.
Use Affiliate Marketing
- Make sure that you meet the requirements for affiliate marketing. In order to market your Instagram profile this way, you need to have an interest in promoting brand names, more than 500 followers, and the ability to post content regularly. A lot of affiliate marketing is going to involve you taking pictures of yourself displaying a service or product.
- Follow brands you want to work with. If you want brands to notice your profile, you need to be active on their accounts. This is a good way to learn more about their marketing style and determine whether they are the right fit for you.
- Comment and like your brand’s content. If you want a brand to really see you, you need to comment and like their content. If you do this often enough, then you will capture their attention, and you will show them that your profile is potentially valuable when it comes to being a marketing commodity. However, we don’t suggest that you spam brands with empty questions or comments. Instead, post valuable insights, and rich questions that they will be prompted to answer.
- Find an affiliate marketing company. There are a number of companies out there that can help you team up with businesses. Just keep in mind that you will need to capture the attention of the brand you want to promote first.
- Connect with brands on social media. There is no reason why you have to stick to Instagram when trying to reach out and connect with brands on social media. Try checking them out on Facebook and Twitter as well, so that they can start to see more of you on a consistent basis.
- Be patient. If you have an active Instagram account that is growing consistently, then a brand will want to work with you eventually. Remember, you started at ground zero just like everyone else, which means that any marketing experience you can get, even for free, is going to help you build up your credibility, and open doors for opportunities further down the track.
Sell Your Photos
- Think about selling your photos. This option isn’t applicable to every Instagram account, but people who upload really high-quality photos do have the opportunity to sell them. Sooner or later, you will end up uploading a photo that someone is going to be interested in.
- Find an app that can sell your photos. Choose an app that can help you sell your photos. If you use a third-party app to garner interest in your photos, people that look at your content over there are also going to become interested in your Instagram account. We think that Foap is a great option if you’re interested in selling your photos.
- Know the difference between premium content, and stock. Stock images are high-quality photos that websites and businesses can use for marketing. These photos should go directly to the app you are trying to sell your photos on, but we think that you should sell your premium photos on your Instagram page. This is where having a large follower base is really important. Just remember that stock content doesn’t actually need to be low-quality; in fact, it should be really high-quality. It can just be generic and doesn’t have to be specific to a particular brand or theme.
- Watermark your photos. If you want to protect your photos from being stolen, then make sure that you watermark them. You can do this by uploading a lower resolution version of the image and placing a graphic over the top of it. Make sure that you retain original copies of the photo that you can distribute. When someone wants to purchase your photo, you can send them an invoice, along with a version of the photo that isn’t watermarked.
- Post your photos with a price. As well as remembering to watermark your photos, you will need to also include a price on the app and on your Instagram profile. Make sure you include the price, as well as how you would like them to pay, the photo size, resolution, and a brief description of the photo.
- Wait for your followers to want a photo. As long as you are active on Instagram, and have an interested follower base, then you should have no issues selling some of your photos through Instagram. The good news is that you can also take image requests from your existing followers, and for these you will be able to charge a premium.
Make a Sponsored Post
- Build up your engagement and following. When working to become an influencer on Instagram, you will need to attract followers with content.
- Get in touch with the brand that you would like to sponsor. Once you’ve got a reasonable following, you’ll be more likely considered viable for a brand to invest in for sponsored posts. You will need to contact the company to offer your services. Connect with the brand by going to their Instagram profile or their website and finding their contact information. You can also contact an agency that works with brands, who are trying to find Instagram influencers to work with.
- Make sure you know FTC social media guidelines. Once you have landed a sponsor, you will need to read up on social media guidelines to learn the parameters of paid sponsorship posts on Instagram, so that you don’t break the rules.
- Create high-quality content with relevant videos or images. Once your sponsorship is set up, you can come up with a normal post that features the product from that brand, and you can ensure that it’s done in a way that is going to be appealing to your audience.
- Make sure that you include a hashtag in your posts that is relevant to the sponsorship. Whenever you post something that features that brand’s content, make sure that you list the brand in the hashtags, and even include a sponsored hashtag. This is important so that you can maintain a level of transparency with your audience.
Becoming an Affiliate
- Build up your engagement and following. When working to become an influencer on Instagram, you will need to draw the right kind of attention with your content.
- Get in touch with a company about being an affiliate. When you become an affiliate, you will get a certain commission percentage for each sale that you make. There are a number of big companies out there that offer this type of program right now, including RewardStyle.
- Put the link in your bio. Because you can’t include a link in your Instagram post, you will need to put the link to the product or service that you’re promoting in your bio.
- Create eye-catching content. Once you have landed a brand deal, make sure that you come up with content that is relevant to not only the brand you’re promoting, but to your audience.
- Encourage your followers to check out the link in your bio. When you post content that relates to the brand that you are promoting, make sure that you ask your followers to check out the ‘link in bio’.
- Build up your portfolio on Instagram. Instagram is a great way to share your own professional quality images with your users, and you can use it to build up your portfolio in general. Make sure that your images are authentic, and make sure that they are vertical – in line with Instagram’s aesthetic.
- Promote your portfolio with relevant hashtags. They can help you promote your work to a broader audience.
- Offer your images to a photo advertising site. If you have a good portfolio, you can pitch your work to a marketplace online where they will sell your images on your behalf. You will need to set up an account with them, and make sure that they offer a fair price.
- Sell your images. Once you have set up your account, you’re ready to sell. You can do this freelance as well.
Selling Your Own Products
- Set up an online store for your products. Sites like Etsy are great for setting up your own store that you can sell your product from.
- Include a link to your store in your bio. If you want people to be able to visit your store, make sure you include a link to it in your Instagram profile.
- Build your audience up within your niche. If you want to boost traffic to your store, you will need to build up your following, and aim your products at the right audience.
- Create eye-catching content. Once you have connected your store to your Instagram profile, you can start to create content that is relevant to your product that people are going to want to interact with. Make sure that you don’t be overly promotional with your content.
- Encourage users to visit your website. When you create a promotional post, you can include a link in your post – users won’t be able to click on it – that includes the phrase ‘check out the link in bio’, so that users know where they can go to check out your site.