1. Grow your online presence
This isn’t an overnight task but once you build your followers and ensure they are actively engaging with your posts, between 5-10K+ you’ll be able to start getting paid advertising work. It takes time and you need to ensure you work with the right companies for your niche. But once you have good connections in place and the ROI for the companies are profitable, you’ll have a constant stream of income.
2. Add easy-to-find contact info
Always ensure it is easy for brands and companies to find you by putting an email address in your bio and a link to your website/portfolio in the website section of your profile. Having an easy contact method is the best way to promote yourself and up your chances of getting reached out to.
3. Highlight products/services on your IG
Depending on what you are interested in doing in a collaboration with a brand, post about it! When they decide to take a look at your profile to learn more about you, the last thing you want is for them to be confused. If you’re interested in promoting products, have some product promotions towards the top of you profile with a high engagement level. If you want to promote fashion brands, ensure you have some recent posts with you posing clothes with high engagement and interesting captions. The same goes for writing reviews about services, hotels etc – whatever your niche is, ensure it’s clear. Brands want to see what you can do for them. Make that easy for them and you’re one step closer to being successful!
4. Let people know you’re available for your own services
Don’t just aim to make money from paid posts, let your audience know you are available for bookings too. Say you’re a photographer, make it known in your bio that they can DM/email you for booking enquiries. Fashion stylist? Same thing. It’s a great way to not only promote your profile, but to also gain new paid work in the process. You could actively reach out to brands and followers, promoting your services via DM. Don’t get disheartened if it’s not going to plan straight away. The more no’s you hear at first, means you’re getting closer to finding those that will say yes!
5. Create an account summary
Think of this like your Instagram resume. When you’re applying for a job, they expect you to send a one-two page document with your experiences, skills and education. When you’re reaching out to brands, you shouldn’t expect them to find and review all the information for themselves. Don’t get me wrong, they will do that, but only once they’ve decided that you’re a viable candidate for a collaboration. Make a one-page summary including: how many followers you have, your page views, location of followers, a list of the types of collaborations you’ve done in the past (don’t be afraid to put some screenshots here) and finally a short bio of yourself and a link to your website (if you have one).
6. Tag brands in photos
If you have certain brands in mind, within your niche that you would like to work with a great way to get noticed is to tag the brand in your posts – ensure they are relevant posts to the brand. This way, they are more likely to reach out for a collaboration if they see a high rate of engagement. Don’t go overboard and tag all the products/services a brand has in one photo! However, making a relevant post with an interesting caption can be a great way to get recognized.
7. Try affiliate marketing
Another way to monetize your account is by doing affiliate marketing. This is where you have a unique link to a product/service that you promote. And for every person who purchases your recommendation you receive a commission, usually the commissions range between 5-20%. This is a great way to make some extra money, it’s a passive income and there are no specific ‘requirements’ from the brands as you make as much as you actively promote. Usually, even profiles with a lower number of followers can have a go at this too. Therefore, it could be a great way to start to monetize your profile before actively linking with brands to do collaborations.
8. Sponsored collaborations
This is where the bulk of influencers make their money on Instagram. Once your profile starts to grow, you should get brands reaching out to you. However, you may need to do the bulk of the work at the beginning and reach out to brands directly. You can do this by contacting the brands that fit your style and niche directly via DM, email and phone. And simply ask for information on a potential collaboration. Be patient and only promote products/services that you would actually use! There are plenty of brands out there and there’s nothing worse than an influencer that promotes all and everything with absolutely no correlation between them. Think about it, your followers are the ones who will be viewing your posts and engaging with the material. If they’ve followed you, it’s for a reason – they like you, the theme of your profile and the information you provide. If your page is based around travel for example, stick to promoting travel-based products and services. As the majority of your followers, are most likely also interested in travel. Don’t promote a random baby push-chair just because they’re willing to pay you.
9. Join influencer networks
Influencer networks are the bridge between influencers and brands. Some will reach out to you directly, whereas others you will need to review and reach out to with a short pitch on what you can provide. It’s another great way to find sponsored collaborations all in the same place – usually an app or a web platform. Some brands will provide the details of what they need and the price they are willing to pay. Whereas, others will allow you to propose your own ideas and include a requested payment amount. Influencer networks are a fantastic tool, especially when you’re just starting! It’s a great way to get in touch with brands that are clearly interested in a collaboration – or else they wouldn’t be on there! I won’t go into too much detail here, as there is ample information available online. However, a highly recommended app you can try is TRIBE.
10. What should you charge?
There are several ways brands can pay you, free gifting is one option where you don’t get a specific pay however you get the product / service you are promoting in exchange for the promotion. Other brands will pay on commission such as those included in affiliate marketing. However, the most common method is a set agreed payment for the post / campaign you run. The general consensus is approximately $5 – $10 CPM (cost per thousand) for Instagram, therefore if you have 20K followers, usually your payment will be between $100 – $200 dollars. However, this does depend on a few factors, such as your engagement. If you remember in our earlier points, how important it is to have an active following. Usually brands look for at least 2-4% active and engaged followers, good quality images and an overall a good vibe through your profile. If you’ve got all of this in place, then you’ll be absolutely fine and could charge the higher end of the spectrum $10 CPM.
11. Don’t settle for less than you deserve
There will be many brands that reach out to you, that simply don’t have the budget to pay you for the posts you make for them. Many will offer the gifting option as payment. At the beginning, this can be great to get you going, gain some experience and fill your profile with great content for future brands to see. However, once your following grows and your engagement is high – this can be a great time to start being more selective in what you decide to promote. And most importantly what you deserve in return. Don’t get me wrong, if you love a product/service and you completely believe in it then of course why not promote it. Even if they can’t necessarily pay you, but you receive the product/service in return. However, learn to say no when necessary!
12. Giveaways to keep followers enticed and engaged
A great way to keep your followers interested in your account and gain new followers, is to occasionally run a giveaway. If you are an influencer in the travel industry, offer a travel guide or a pdf download you’ve made with all your top travel tips. Whatever industry you are in, chances are your followers are too or at least trying to be. Ensure your giveaway is directly linked to your audience and you can’t go wrong! A great way to boost engagement is to include a price value to entice your audience even more, have them tag their friends, like your page to guarantee the giveaway will be worth the effort.
13. Consider signing up with an agency
Lastly, once you’ve reached a level of high growth and engagement you are bound to have DM’s and email pouring in. It can feel overwhelming, especially narrowing down which to say yes and which to say no to. Once you’ve got here, I would consider joining an agency. This will free your time to do the actual work you’re being hired to do, it will also ensure that you’re working with the best as your enquiries will be filtered down based on your specifications. You’ll save ample time as they deal with all the logistics for you. The commission they take is pretty low = on average 10-20%.
14. Don’t have enough followers yet?
Not to worry, we understand just how time consuming and tedious the growth process can be. Especially when you’re doing it all alone. However, growth is where we excel. We’ve been helping influencers and businesses grow their accounts, both rapidly yet organically for over three years. Regardless of your plan, with us you’ll always have a personal Instagram expert to help you along the way. They will assess your needs, offer you a custom working strategy for growth and provide you with ongoing support. Are you serious about becoming the next best influencer? Sign up and expect to see results within 48 hours!