If you’re keen to make big money on Instagram, brand partnerships are the way to go. Unfortunately, you’re going to need a big following, but (thankfully) it doesn’t have to be hundreds of thousands. “Realistically, you need 10,000 followers or more,” says Dominique Audibert, head of community for Whalar, an influencer marketing agency that works with Adidas and Deliveroo. This, she reckons, will take about a year to build – providing that you stick to posting to one core demographic.
To boost your following, find someone with a large fan base, and an account similar to yours, and begin engaging with those who follow them, liking and commenting on their posts, putting aside 10 minutes a day to the task.
Already got the numbers? Get noticed by creating content that suits the brand’s style, and then tag them in the picture and the comment. You should also email them directly. “I once contacted a brand’s marketing manager through LinkedIn and said I’d love to work with them. She said ‘no’ at the time, but emailed six months later when I’d grown my following,” says Aimee Victoria Long, a health and wellness blogger with around 68,000 followers. “Once you’re in touch, ask to be put on any mailing lists, then attend any events they invite you to. It’s a way of getting to know the right people.”
Brand partnerships almost certainly come hand in hand with personal partnerships; get to know the people at the brands who have a say, and if your beliefs line up with that of the brands’, they’ll have you in mind for future work.
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MAKE MONEY ON INSTAGRAM FROM… AFFILIATE MARKETING
Got a medium-sized, but loyal following? Affiliate marketing is a great way to earn from brands, even if you’re not big enough to be sponsored by them directly. An affiliate link is essentially a tracking code attached to a link, which influencers can make money – or credit – off if a follower buys something through it. You just link to a product, and if someone clicks and buys, you get a percentage. It’s done through networks like Awin, who hook brands like O2 and Hobby Craft up with smaller influencers, LikeToKnowIt or 21 Buttons. Anyone can sign up – and then you pick who you’d like to work with. You’ll get access to their imagery and promotions, which you can share with your followers. Sarah* has a following of 14,000 on Instagram, and gets fashion images from Awin, which she then posts, with a link in her bio. “It works best when I post things that are totally new,” she says. And remember to put #ad – by law, all affiliate links must be marked as adverts. It’s a very small slice of profit, varying from 5 – 15%, but Sarah says sticking with it pays off – in total, she’s made £15,000 ( about R260 975,30) in a year.
MAKE MONEY ON INSTAGRAM FROM… ENGAGEMENT
So we know that the big brands are looking for the A-listers of Instagram, but those lower down the chain can still profit. And it’s all to do with how well-liked you are. “If you have 1,000 followers, but your posts regularly get 200 comments, that’s a big indicator to any brand that what you’re posting is really hitting the mark,” says Sara McCorquodale, CEO of Corq, a digital content, social media and strategy consultancy. Platforms such as Takumi and Brandnew IO send those with smaller followings campaigns; you download the picture, upload it with their suggested hashtags and, if you’ve fulfilled the criteria, they reward you, usually with a small payment or vouchers. Ensuring people are commenting on your pictures is also a great way to get your following up, as it makes you more likely to appear in Instagram’s ‘search’ area, the place to grab new followers (and essential now that posts are no longer in chronological order).
Want more people to interact with you? You have to give as well. All our experts said that the best way to boost your engagement is to comment on, like and share other people’s posts, and reply to everyone who comments on yours. Get that emoji keyboard ready…
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MAKE MONEY ON INSTAGRAM FROM… YOUR PHOTOS
Foap.com allows you to upload and sell your flatlays and #foodporn pictures for $10 (about R139,27) a pop; the company keeps $5(R65), and the rest goes to you. Upload as many shots as you can, tagging each one accurately. There’s also UK-based company Mipic.co, who turn pictures into straight-up merchandise (from phone cases to leggings). You upload the pictures and get 20% of the profit, while the company handles all the manufacturing and shipping. The company’s CEO says that pictures of materials, like tiles or marble, and landscapes do well. All those ‘arty’ snaps of floors? Suddenly extremely useful.
MAKE MONEY ON INSTAGRAM FROM… VIDEO
Brands are increasingly looking for those who can make compelling videos – and you can make money almost straight away. Amelia Perrin, a beauty and lifestyle blogger, says, “It’s easiest to monetise your YouTube. There’s a part which asks ‘do you want to monetise this video’? And you can click ‘yes’,” she says. “Advertisers then place ads at the beginning of your videos, and you earn money whenever someone watches it. It can be a small but consistent income.” But how do you stand out in a saturated market? Marc Joyner, a manager at YouTube Space London, says a successful channel is all about consistency. “Pick a subject that’s sustainable – can you keep making videos about it every week for a year?” McCorquodale warns, “The age of just posting about your own life is pretty much over.” Instead, she says things like video book clubs are growing in popularity. “Anything that’s really useful – you have to give people a reason to come back to you.”
*Name has been changed
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This article first appeared in Cosmopolitan.UK