How many followers do you need to monetize Instagram?

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Instagram is a goldmine for making money online.

That’s an established fact.

Indeed, people are making money on the platform every day! Through influencing, direct sales of products, photography, as social media consultants, affiliate marketing (selling other people’s stuff), etc.

But for the scope of this post, we’ll only be focusing on the “influencing” aspect.

Pro Tip: If you’re still not sure how to become a social media influencer, you can click this link.

Who is an influencer?

An influencer is anyone who promotes a product or service to a group of audience they have an influence over in exchange for a fixed fee from the owner of the product or service.

From that definition, one thing is clear:

You’ll need a lot of followers that trust your recommendation before brands can partner with you.

But how many exactly?

That’s what we’re about to find out.

There’s no exact number, to begin with, but “More Followers Means More Money.”

It’s as simple as that.

Brands are paying influencers handsomely, no doubt. On average, we’ve seen nano influencers – people who have less than 5,000 followers – get $10–$100 per post. Micro-influencers – those who have more than 10,000 but less than 100,000 followers – get somewhere between $100 and $500 per post. The Macro guys pocket anywhere between 5,000–$10,000 per post, while the Mega guys earn as high as $10,000+ per post.

If you rack up to one million Instagram followers – wooooah – you’re already a star. If companies and individuals see that you have this many followers, and they can confirm it’s genuine, they won’t hesitate to spend top dollars on your promotional service.

Although, as the owner of the account, you can decide how much money you want to charge brands for your services. But you must set a price that is fair and realistic, based on the number of followers you have presently, and which correlates with average fee influencers with that amount of followers are charging. Otherwise, you may struggle to find brands willing to work with you.

To give you some perspective of how follower count increases your price rate, take a look at these dominating influencers and the amount of money they make per post:

  • Liz Eswein has 1.5 million followers and counting and charges an estimated $7,000 per post.
  • Danielle Bernstein has 2.5 million followers and counting and charges an estimated $7,000 per post.
  • An Nguyen has 34.5k followers and counting and charges an estimated $300 to $600 per post.
  • Aimee Song has 5.5 million followers and counting and charges an estimated $9,000 per post.
  • Julie Sarinara has 5.6 million followers and counting and charges an estimated $10,000 per post.
  • Valeria Hinojosa has 156k followers and counting and charges an estimated $1500 to $3000 per post.

This should give you some idea of how followers can grow your monetary gain as an influencer.

Two factors that can influence how much you’ll make

Your engagement rate

While we’ve already established above that your followers count matters a lot to your potential for earnings, it’s important to note that brands consider engagement rate, too.

By engagement rate, we mean how many of your followers actually like, comment, view, and share your posts.

Although we said if you have up to 30k followers (micro-influencer), you can expect brands to pay you between $100 and $500, this figure can shoot higher or even lower if a brand suspects that your engagement rate doesn’t commensurate with your followers count.

By and large, while followers count is, no doubt, important, the key to earning money on Instagram is the engagement rate. So, as you’re working to gain more followers, try to make sure you’re improving your engagement rate, too.

Your niche

Niche is another important factor that can dictate how much an influencer makes. If you have lots of followers, but you’re in a niche where brands don’t really fancy influencer marketing, you might struggle to turn your followers count into real money. And vice versa.

Even though there’s an average charge rate for influencers with a certain number of followers, this number can shoot higher or lower depending on the niche where the influencer is operating.

Traditionally, some of the most profitable niches on Instagram are Health/Wellness/Fitness, Travel, Fashion, Beauty, Business, Wealth/Finance, Luxury, and Lifestyle. Users in these niches work with a variety of brands, create a wide range of content, and have great success in monetizing their Instagram accounts.

If you have thousands of followers, but you’re not in any of these niches mentioned above, it may be hard finding brands willing to pay for your professional service. And even when you do find one, they may be reluctant to pay you an equivalent of what influencers like you are earning in other niches.

Story by Uday Tank


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