How to Turn Your Instagram Account into a Money-Making Business
Are you ready to understand, negotiate and realize your own marketing value as an Influencer? Learn how to turn your Instagram into a money-making business with our first-hand advice.
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. With all the time and commitment that is required, our Instagram feeds have taken on all the characteristics of a serious part-time job.
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 very hush, hush, which works against us. Number two, influencer marketing is evolving at the speed of light. This is the wild west. There are few rules, and they are constantly changing.
The power we have as influencers is increasing in the marketplace at a mind-bending pace. We need to learn how to harness this power so we don’t give it away.
1. Turn Your Instagram Into a Money-Making Business: 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. They have the tools to see if likes or followers are acquired in any other way but organically.
Your account value is based mainly on: follower count, engagement rate, audience authenticity, and audience reach. To understand your current value, including the details of all your analytics, read “How to Avoid Influencer Fraud.”
2. 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 and how engaged your following will determine your marketing reach. This in turn determines 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. Suddenly, 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.
For more inspiration to turn your Instagram into a money-making business, read Sprout Social’s, “7 Simple Steps to Master Instagram for Business.”
3. 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.
Consider this: Your reputation is at stake with every collaboration. Your followers’ trust is at stake with every collaboration. Be sure you are always authentic and honest with your followers. Make sure what you advertise fits your brand.
4. Turn Your Instagram Into a Money-Making Business: Be Proactive
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?
5. 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.
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 informed you are on this topic the more power you have.
If you want to turn your Instagram into a money-making business, you must start treating your account 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.
For more tips on how to improve your Instagram business game, read our other Instagram related blog posts.