Enter your search term

Search by title or post keyword

How to Become an Instagram Influencer and Start Earning Money in Five Steps

This post may contain affiliate links - which means we may receive compensation from purchases made through links on this site. Learn more ›

The 21st century has brought along many novel approaches to the marketing field. As a result, lots of new roles adjacent to the field have sprung up, such as the social media influencer.

These roles can be highly attractive, and you may have also wondered how to become an Instagram influencer.

We’ve dug deeper into the subject and produced this comprehensive guide. It should answer every aspiring influencer’s questions about the world of Instagram influencer marketing and help them navigate their way through these waters.

An Overview of an Instagram Influencer: A Primer

An Instagram influencer is a high-profile user who’s able to create a lasting influence on others through the force of their personality, established credibility, and a loyal base of followers.

In other words, influencers build a personal brand, which can create a significant market impact.

Due to their personal approach toward the public, influencers can be more effective at convincing others than traditional company marketing.

Companies are aware of this trend, so they associate with influencers and make brand deals.

Under these deals, influencers get paid to promote the brand through their regular post content.

Apart from brand partnerships and affiliate marketing, there are other ways that you can use your Instagram account for profit.

For example, it’s also possible to earn money by selling your products. Another option is to monetize Instagram reels through the Reels Play Bonus Program.

How Much Do Instagram Influencers Make?

Instagram influencers are split into five categories, depending on their follower count. This category determines their expected revenue, with a rule of thumb that 10,000 followers are worth $100 per post.

  • Mega Influencers: Theyre major celebrities with over a million followers. They’re able to earn $10,000+ per post, on average.
  • Macro Influencers: Thesetypically became famous through the internet. They have between 500,000 and 1 million followers and can be expected to earn $5,000-$10,000 per post.
  • Mid-Tier Influencers: Theyhave a large, well-established audience of between 50,000 and 500,000 followers. They typically earn $500-$5,000 per post.
  • Micro Influencers: Theyhave a more modest follower base that reaches between 10,000 and 50,000 followers. They’re able to earn $100-$500 per post.
  • Nano Influencers: These are users with a follower count between 1,000 and 10,000 whose influence is still tangible and relevant. They can earn $10-$100 per post.

See this map for a more detailed look into influencer earning and engagement rates.

Aspiring influencers are likely to begin their career as a nano or micro influencer.

Despite the modest start, this leaves room for new opportunities, as brands are becoming more open to working with micro and nano influencers due to their greater potential for direct engagement.

What You’ll Need to Become an Instagram Influencer [& Associated Costs]

Becoming an Instagram influencer isn’t quite as easy as it may appear. Having strong charisma and the ability to engage people are a given, but there are extra expenses you’ll need to consider if you want to kickstart a successful career.

1. A Powerful Smartphone

A high-end smartphone with a superb camera and strong general capabilities is an essential long-term investment for any influencer. The most powerful phones in this range will also render a portable vlogging camera unnecessary. The expected cost will fall in the $800-$1600 range.

2. A DSLR Camera + Studio Equipment

More serious campaigns may require influencers to create film-quality video content or high-quality photos. You may want to invest in a DSLR camera and basic studio equipment such as a tripod or a ring light. The cost can range anywhere between $400 and $2000.

3. Photo and Video Editing

All influencers need a level of post-production magic for their content. This can be outsourced to a professional, but the most cost-effective option is to learn these skills yourself.

Depending on the tools used and the scale of the work, the cost can go anywhere between $10 and $500 per month.

4. Marketing, SEO, and Analytics Tools

Every influencer who wants to stay in touch with market trends will have to utilize marketing and SEO tools and keep an eye on Instagram analytics. This can also be outsourced, but a thrifty influencer will learn to use them themselves. Expenses are in the $10-$200/month range.

5. Look Your Best

While influencers don’t have to be supermodels, it’s helpful to be easy on the eyes. A styling budget of at least $100/monthis to be expected.

6. Find Your Niche

To keep your Instagram followers engaged, you must keep posting content related to your respective niche. Not every niche is equally costly, though—a fitness influencer will usually spend less than a fashion influencer. Monthly expenses can range between $0 and $2000+.

How Much Does It Cost to Become an Instagram Influencer?

Influencers’ expected spending range is immensely broad. While well-established influencers will require a bigger budget, a fresh face trying to become successful on Instagram will do fine with a $2,000 starting budget.

Is It Hard to Become an Instagram Influencer?

Building a successful personal brand on Instagram is much harder than it may appear. It requires creativity, personal charisma, business acumen, and the ability to stay in tune with trends.

But with these qualities and a solid amount of hard work and dedication, it’s certainly possible to make it big.

How Long Does It Take to Become an Instagram Influencer?

Instagram success doesn’t happen overnight. To propel an Instagram account into internet fame and build a highly engaged community, influencers will need to carefully plan their content strategy for the coming months.

If you’re successful, you can expect your first brand partnership in between six months and a year.

At that point, you can already call yourself a proper Instagram influencer. From then on, it’s only a matter of brand growth and building a broader audience.

How to Become an Instagram Influencer in Five Steps

This step-by-step guide will go through the entire process of becoming an Instagram influencer.

Step One: Choose Your Niche

The first step is to choose the right niche that you want to focus on. The niche can be related to any type of content: lifestyle, fashion, DIY, travel, self-care, family, cooking, pets, etc.

The most crucial factor when choosing a niche is passion, but knowing how to reconcile passion with profit also helps. It’s best to look for unique but interesting niches or add a personal twist to an already well-beaten path.

Focusing on unique content pillars helps reduce initial competition and create a strong early base of followers.

Step Two: Make Your Instagram Page Stand Out

To attract attention, an Instagram account must be eye-catching and tailored to appeal to its target audience. This requires an original, catchy username (including a niche-related keyword also helps), a high-quality, striking profile picture, and a witty, creative Instagram bio.

Even if you want to focus exclusively on Instagram, it’s worth having a consistent presence on other social media platforms. Promoting an Instagram account through other social channels helps attract even more followers.

Step Three: Set Up a Professional Creator Account

Instagram comes with the option to turn the default personal account into a professional creator account for free.

Having a creator account gives you access to rudimentary analytics features, which help you learn more about follower demographics and your account’s engagement rate. It also makes it easier for influencer databases to discover your profile.

To change to a professional account, choose the “Switch to professional account” option in the Settings menu.

Step Four: Post Consistently

Consistency is the most crucial factor when building engagement. This is where follower analytics comes into play.

Figuring out how Instagram’s algorithm affects visibility and which posting times lead to optimal engagement lets you schedule Instagram posts in an optimal way.

While Instagram posts and reels are essential for discovery, most Instagram influencers must also use Instagram stories to keep their followers consistently engaged.

Step Five: Grow a Following

Effectively using the hashtag feature is essential for growth. Not only does it help make a post discoverable when searching by the relevant hashtags, but it also influences the Instagram algorithm to make the post more likely to appear on the Explore screen.

Making friends pays off! It’s smart to follow more successful influencers in the same niche and engage with them through comments, replying to their Instagram stories, or using direct messages. Treating fellow influencers as friends rather than competition makes collab offers more likely.

Reasons to Consider Becoming an Instagram Influencer

According to a 2022 survey, 1 in 4 Gen Z Americans want to become social media influencers. There are strong reasons why becoming an influencer on Instagram appears so attractive.

  • Flexibility: Being a successful influencer offers a steady influx of money while offering full flexibility regarding time and pace.
  • Creative Freedom: Influencers have full creative control over their content output. This makes Instagram influencing a perfect career for people who wish to combine passion and profit.
  • Great Opportunities: Instagram influencing has proven to be a great starting point for other careers, such as music, acting, and modeling.
  • Ability to Start Young: Many influencers can kickstart a successful career as early as their teenage years.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Influencers Reach Out to Brands, or Do Brands Come to Them?

It depends. Certain influencers get lucky, but most will have to find brands they can reach out to. Sending an email, direct message, or using brand-related hashtags is a smart course of action. Some rejection is sadly inevitable, but it’s nothing to be afraid of—there’s nothing you can lose.

What Are Influencer Whitelisting and Influencer Dark Posting?

These are two kinds of brand campaigns done in collaboration with influencers. Whitelisting uses published content from an influencer’s Instagram profile for a brand’s ad campaign. Dark posting uses unpublished content instead.

Similar Gigs to Check Out

If you’re looking for something similar but aren’t convinced by Instagram influencing, the following alternatives may be of interest:

  • How to Become a Twitch Affiliate: If you’re enthusiastic about video games as well as about internet fame, you may want to try monetizing your Twitch streams.
  • How to Become a YouTuber: YouTube is another popular medium for influencers who may prefer to focus on creating videos rather than photos.
  • How to Become TikTok Famous: As the top social media platform among the youth, TikTok is a wonderful choice for influencers who wish to quickly accumulate followers.

Wrapping Up

When taking everything into perspective, becoming a successful Instagram influencer seems like a tough task. While it’s not child’s play, going into it with a positive mindset is already half the victory.

The other half comes from being fully aware of the challenges and being prepared to take on them in a clever, skillful way. Hopefully, this article helped you with that part of the journey.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject, so please let yourself be known in the comments below. If you liked the article and found it useful, feel free to share it!

Leave a Comment

How to Go Live on Twitch: smartphone on table

How to Go Live on Twitch: Make Money Playing Video Games

December 11, 2019
7 min read

Explore More within Gigworker

Other App-Based Gigs
Get to work faster with jobs in the gig worker industry.
post explore

Browse Our Gig Headquarters

The gig economy is booming, and thanks to COVID-19, more people than ever are getting involved. But what is this new sharing economy and how does it work?

Important Gig Economy #Fundamentals to Understand

gigworker logo icon
What is the Gig Economy?

Side Hustle Ideas

Get inspired with our list of 750+ side hustles. Sort by category, rating, and other custom taxonomies.

Browse Side Hustles

Gig Companies

Browse our complete list of gig economy companies, and the gigs they’re hiring for.

Browse Gig Companies

Helpful Content

Read thousands of informative posts, written specifically to help you excel in your favorite gigs.

VIP Membership

Unlock access to VIP-only benefits like content, downloadable, and resources – all ad-free.