Turn your Instagram into a Money-Making Business: Part 1 – Know your own worth
Understand, negotiate, and realize your own marketing value as an influencer. Turn your Instagram into a money making-business with these 5 tips!
Whether your initial motivation to begin your Instagram feed was monetarily-based or not, making money with your feed is appealing to most everyone. Turning your Instagram into a money-making business certainly appeals to YOU, or you wouldn’t be reading this 🙂 Jodie and I began our Instagram feeds for other reasons. We wanted to share our passions, connect with people, build friendships, and have fun! We have done all those things…honestly, joyfully, passionately, and in the process we became “influencers”. Now, with all the time and commitment that is required, our Instagram feeds have taken on all the characteristics of a serious part-time job. Here is where we begin.
You can Google until your fingers cramp up and not find any hard facts. Why? Number one, influencers don’t really talk about getting paid. It’s all hush, hush (which by the way works against us). Number two, influencer marketing is so new that it’s evolving as we type this. There are no real rules, and if there were they would be different a month from now. Instagram is staggeringly different since we began a couple years ago. Growth rates are 10 times what they were because more people are joining every day. The power we have as influencers is increasing in the market place at a mind-bending pace. This means we have POWER and we need to either learn how to harness this power through awareness or we can continue to give it away.
Know your own worth
We’re going to paint a picture for you. Imagine you go to school or work as an apprentice where you learn your trade. Let’s say you put 500 hours into learning your craft. Now you have something to offer. This is the equivalent to building a following on Instagram. Once you have a loyal, sizable following you have some worth as an influencer. The bigger and more engaged your following is, the greater your marketing worth. (By the way, companies look at all components of your feed, not just how many people follow. Also, they have the tools to see if likes or followers are acquired in any other way but organically.)
Know the value of a post
When someone offers to send you something in exchange for a post it’s important to know what this is worth. Depending on how big your feed is (how long your apprenticeship was 🙂 will determine your marketing reach; this in turn determines your hourly wage and the value of a post on your feed. This is generally how we calculate. We consider the time it takes to receive, style, photograph and create a high-quality post. All of a sudden that “free” item becomes a job. We do a little math and figure out our “hourly wage” based on the product value. Ask yourself, do you want the item and how much is it worth to you? If you love the product, love the vendor, have the time to spend, and know that it will add to your feed, then negotiate accordingly. If any of these components are missing you might want to politely decline or negotiate appropriate compensation.
Know the power of a post
We always consider what the post will do to our feeds (positive or negative), how our followers will react to each post, and ask ourselves, “Is it in line with who we are?” Every post has the power to grow or diminish your following. If you are not careful and purposeful you may compromise your growth. Now that “free” product has a real cost.
Jodie and I have learned to be proactive in our marketing endeavors. See a brand or product you would love to represent? Go to them! Sell yourself. The more you do this the more confident you will become. Companies love people who are passionate about them and their products. Plus, it never hurts to ask, right?
Back to number One: Know your own worth
We have to say this again, because if you don’t know your own worth and negotiate for it then you won’t have it. It’s tough because we begin this IG journey, and our feeds do not have any value…at what point does that change? It’s hard to say. The more communication we have with each other on this topic the more power we have as influencers.
If you want to make money on Instagram you need to start treating your Instagram feed more like a business. Each post is an opportunity to grow your marketing value. Our advice is that once you have built something meaningful, and thus powerful, do not sell yourself short. It is truly up to you to negotiate, manage and realize your own value.