How To Monetize Your Instagram Profile

While brand building is great on Instagram, it makes perfect sense for brands to also monetize their efforts on the platform. You can achieve this by using these strategies to turn followers into customers. 

Instagram is the ideal place for brands to develop their audience and online presence. However, it takes patience, dedication, and precious resources to achieve this. 

So, why not get something back for your efforts? Why not monetize your Instagram profile?

Major brands like GoPro and Victoria’s Secret have grown their followers into millions. Now, these brands use their massive Instagram accounts to directly drive sales and turn followers into customers. 

There are plenty of different ways to monetize your Instagram account. This guide has all the strategies you need to earn an income from Instagram.

Let’s get started!

Instagram Is Still Going Strong

Instagram is still a relevant platform with around 1.4 billion users. Brands from all around the world publish content on Instagram hoping to build an audience and online presence. 

The reason brands use Instagram is because of the sheer amount of potential the platform has for connecting brands with fans. Just take a look at the stats below:

Source: https://backlinko.com/instagram-users 

Building an audience on Instagram is totally worth it. Brands with loyal followers employ a variety of strategies to create steady revenue from the platform. 

We will go through these strategies in the sections below. 

Monetizing Your Instagram Profile

For the purpose of this guide, we will assume that you are already on track to growing your audience (or already have). 

Once you are ready to earn revenue from Instagram, you can consider these monetization options:

  1. Sell digital products 
  2. Use your “link in bio”
  3. Start a membership program
  4. Start an online store
  5. Build an email list
  6. Accept donations

Sell Digital Products

Passive income is still considered a myth by most people. However, the concept of running a business on autopilot is real. People from all over the globe have businesses that generate sales and income while they sleep.

One method of building passive income is to sell digital products. Some examples of digital products are: 

  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Courses
  • Printable PDF’s like day planners, coloring books, etc.
  • Music
  • Ebooks
  • Software and Apps

The image below has 7 reasons why you should sell digital products:

Source: https://www.mailerlite.com/blog/digital-products

For example, if your brand on Instagram is all about cooking and recipes, then you can create a digital cookbook that includes your best recipes. Once your book is ready, you can then offer it to your Instagram followers for a fee. 

Make Use of the “Link in Bio”

Instagram is a visual platform that does not allow you to insert links into your posts. If you want to direct followers to your website to make purchases, then all you have is the link in your bio. 

You can simply add your website’s link in your bio then request users to visit the site to view your products. However, if you plan on running multiple campaigns with a variety of links, then working with a single link will be challenging. 

Link-sharing tools like Hypage will allow you to build multiple links from that single link in your Instagram bio. With Hypage, you build a landing page that is made up of all of your crucial links (including social links). 

You then insert the URL for that page into your Instagram bio (see image below). 

Now, there will be no need to keep changing the link in your Instagram bio. You can simply edit your landing page to include links to new products, campaigns, and socials. 

This strategy is crucial for brands that have monetization options located outside of Instagram. 

Start a Membership Program

Membership platforms like Patreon are perfect for creators that want to earn an income from doing the things they love most. Passionate movie makers, musicians, and podcasters can create membership sites to generate income that can be used to take their projects to the next level. 

For example, podcasters require funds to run their shows. These funds are used to pay hosts, producers, and editors. Because podcasts are free on podcasting networks, podcasters will have to find alternate sources of income. 

While sponsorships are a great way to earn income, getting fans to contribute a small monthly fee (around $5 or more) is an excellent way of creating a sustainable monthly income. In return, podcasters can offer exclusive content for members only. 

Podcaster and comedian, Tim Dillon uses Patreon to generate around $188K per month in membership fees. For $5, users will have access to bonus episodes and past archives. $20 members can interact with them by sending him topic requests, while also having access to more bonus content. 

Source: https://www.patreon.com/thetimdillonshow 

So if you are big on content creation, you can ask your Instagram followers to help support your passion by joining your membership program. 

Start An Online Store

E-commerce is a multi-trillion-dollar industry with sales exceeding 4 trillion dollars in 2020. Sales are projected to grow even further past 6 trillion by 2024. 

Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/379046/worldwide-retail-e-commerce-sales/ 

It’s a no-brainer to get into e-commerce today. Especially if you already have an audience on Instagram.

For example, YouTuber Pewdiepie has a massive following on Instagram. He chose to monetize his audience there with his online store, Tsuki. Users just have to click on the link in his bio to visit his store. 

Source: https://tsuki.market/collections/mischief 

So, if you have gained considerable popularity on Instagram, you can try to divert your followers’ attention to your online store. Creating an online store just to sell your merch is a good place to start. You can slowly build your store up to include custom phone cases, room decor, and more. 

More ideas of things to sell in your store:

  • Luxury soap
  • Socks
  • Electronics 
  • Games
  • Shoes

You don’t have to store physical products. Dropshipping is a great alternative. The wholesaler will handle shipping while you focus on sales. Shopify is an excellent platform for building online stores, especially dropshipping stores. Instagram’s visual platform makes it an excellent place to promote your Shopify store

Build an Email List

If you are selling something online, then having an email list is an excellent place to start. Email marketing is still relevant today. All major brands still use email. You should too. Here’s why:

Source: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/email-marketing-stats 

There are plenty of ways to grow an email list. One method would be to acquire email addresses from your Instagram followers. You can achieve this by directing your followers to a website that allows them to submit their emails to your list. 

For example, you could host an Instagram giveaway. Sponsor a prize and request that your followers submit their emails for a chance to win. At the end of the campaign, you will have everyone’s (all who entered) email addresses. 

A major benefit of an email list is the fact that it belongs to you. Your Instagram followers don’t belong to you. If you are banned from the platform, then you will lose all those followers you worked so hard for. Acquiring your followers’ emails is the first step towards owning something from Instagram. 

Accept Donations

Accepting donations online as a creator is a concept common amongst twitch streamers. If a viewer enjoys a particular live stream, that viewer can donate cash to the streamer. Donations are the primary income of many twitch streamers. 

Platforms like Twitch and YouTube have tools to accept donations baked into their live streaming tools. You can set up a donation button on your Instagram profile. However, this feature is more inclined towards charitable donations for non-profit organizations. 

The best way to accept donations as a creator on Instagram is with a third-party service like:

  • Ko-fi
  • Gumroad
  • Hypage
  • Buy Me A Coffee
  • PayPal
Source: https://help.ko-fi.com/hc/en-us/articles/360011573238-How-to-Use-Ko-fi-With-Instagram 

Once you are all set up, you can start promoting your donation page to your followers. Simply create posts (or stories, reels, etc.) to inform your followers that you now accept donations. Or, you can mention donations at the bottom of your post descriptions. 

Remember To Build a Suitable Audience

Having a substantial following on Instagram will allow you to consider and implement various monetization options. You can monetize your Instagram profile with a smaller following. However, it’s best that you build a strong following first before you begin experimenting with monetization. 

While every person that follows you on Instagram is valuable, the most valuable user is the one that has interests that align with your interests. In other words, a person interested in your niche. 

Users interested in your niche (and ultimately your brand or similar brands) are your target audience. Your followers should align with your target audience. 

For example, if you are a gamer, Instagram users interested in gaming will be your ideal target audience. Users interested in cooking and recipes will be mismatched if they follow you, the gamer. 

Source: https://www.instagram.com/p/CUftfkJsFA4/ 

A gamer on Instagram can sell gaming headsets and peripherals to their target audience. They can also accept donations in exchange for a shoutout and work with sponsors to promote games and gaming hardware. 

Again, this works best if your followers are into your niche and what you have to offer. 

TL;DR

Instagram is one of the most popular social media networks with over a billion active users. As a visual platform, Instagram is the perfect place for brands to grow their audience and online presence. 

While brand building is great on Instagram, it makes perfect sense for brands to also monetize their efforts on the platform. You can achieve this by using the strategies above to turn followers into customers. 

What do you think of the monetization strategies mentioned in this post? If you have more ideas of your own, please feel free to share them in the comments below. 

About The Author

Jack Paxton is the co-founder of VYPER, a marketing tool that helps brands build email lists, social followings, and revenue using viral giveaways, referral, and reward programs. After millions of dollars spent testing different marketing strategies at his marketing agency. He then also co-founded Hyax a fast, conversion & design-focused course and funnel builder for creators.

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