Since starting life as a relatively standard social network, Instagram has grown to become one of the most dominant platforms for those seeking to make money online.
This is a contributed post. Please refer to my disclosure for more information.
Initially, entrepreneurs used Instagram in much the same way as they do any social network: as a method of driving traffic to their blog or affiliates. However, over time, Instagram’s true potential has been unveiled, and the app’s biggest stars are using Instagram to generate an income in and of itself. In fact, many people who once focused their efforts on their blog have since moved to an Instagram-only model that allows them to earn income through brand sponsorships and paid advertisements.
It’s impossible not to look at the success of Instagram influencers and want to try it for yourself – but, as with most online income efforts, there are a few things you need to be aware of first…
#1 – You don’t need a huge follower count to earn money on Instagram
The rise of ‘nanoinfluencers’ – influencers who have fewer than 1,000 followers – has meant that Instagram success is more accessible than it has ever been before. While it’s worth trying to grow your follower account, you don’t need hundreds of thousands to get started using Instagram to earn money.
#2 – Be wary of the ‘feature’ hashtags
If you post a photo featuring a brand you’re not currently partnered with – perhaps even tagging them in order to draw their attention – the brand may leave you a comment asking for permission to “feature” your photo on their page. They will usually ask you to reply with something like #YesBRANDNAME in order to agree. This seems like a great idea, but it’s often a pretty bad deal for you: the terms and conditions of using the #YesBRANDNAME hashtag often involve you allowing the brand to use the image for any purpose, which means you lose control of your image. If you do receive such an offer, always read the T&Cs in great detail to ensure you retain the rights to your image.
#3 – Ask for contracts when working with brands
When you partner with a brand, it’s essential to get the terms of the agreement down in writing. While most brands are reputable and will always seek to ensure the partnership is beneficial for you both, it’s still helpful to have the exact details in a formal contract as an additional guarantee. The process of obtaining a contract doesn’t need to be onerous; just ask the brand to write down their expectations of you (such as specific hashtags you need to use), and the agreed completion date; you can even sign the contract digitally with an app like PDFpen to ensure the hassle is kept to a minimum. With a contract behind you, you can be sure that the work you put in to creating the perfect post is all the more likely to be rewarded.
#4 – Disclose, disclose, disclose
If you post a sponsored image, or an image featured a product you are receiving compensation for including on your feed, then you have to disclose the sponsorship every time. If a brand asks you to post without this disclosure, that’s a red flag; they’re asking you to break advertising legislation, so you may want to reconsider your involvement with such a company.
By keeping the above tips in mind, you can be sure that your journey to making money on Instagram is as smooth and trouble-free as possible.