Keep reading this article for more tips and strategies for making money on Instagram.
Strategy 3: Sell your own products
The third strategy for making money on Instagram goes beyond marketing and into the realm of actual e-commerce.
Rather than using your personal brand to sell other people’s products, sell your own. This might be a coffee-table book of your most popular photos. But it could also be your time and advice as a consultant; or your high-end fashion line. And if you already own a business, selling on Instagram is an obvious addition to your marketing strategy.
Turning your audience into your customers may well be a natural fit. And with the rise of e-commerce platforms like Shopify, and print-on-demand services like Printful, it’s increasingly simple to run an online business that delivers real-world products.
Step 1: Imagine your product
Models sell clothes. ASMR slime accounts sell slime. Marketing experts sell online courses. Your product might be a natural, intuitive extension of what you’re already doing, like @rad.slime’s slime shop.
Meanwhile, model/influencer Alexa Chung created her eponymous high-end label, and model/influencer Jeanne Damas founded @rouje. (So now please refer to both of them as ‘model/influencer/fashion designer.’)
Step 2: Build your product
If your business plan involves selling your own products (as opposed to, say, dropshipping—but more on that later) you need to build it. Find a supplier.
Step 3: Set up your account so it’s shoppable
In the past few years, Instagram has been rolling out all sorts of shopping-focused features: the Explore tab, product tags, shoppable posts, shoppable Stories, and Instagram Checkout.
In order to take advantage of them, you need a business account. You also need to create a product catalogue. Check out our step-by-step guide on how to sell products with Instagram shopping.
Step 4: Build out your e-commerce infrastructure
Set up a website to provide more information to your customers. Consider running a few ads to build awareness. You’ll probably also need to build a landing page to guide people through the final purchasing steps. Keep your audience’s experience at top of mind.
Step 5: Post your products
You can hype your products using regular Instagram posts or Stories. Instagram analytics tools will help you measure your success.
That said, if your Stories aren’t converting into sales, you might want to check out our tips.
Step 6: Fulfill your orders
Depending on your product, you can handle inventory yourself, outsource to a third-party logistics company, or live the dropshipping lifestyle (which is when the manufacturer sends it to the customer themselves.)
The more orders you have, the more time you’ll be spending on this, so be realistic. Here’s a back-to-basics guide on how to delight your customers with shipping, delivery, returns, and everything else.
Tips for earning money on Instagram
Ready to try one of these strategies out for yourself? These best practices will save you some time.
Know your worth
Influencers need to know: what’s the going rate for posting a Story (with swipe up) to, say, 27,000 followers? How much do people charge for running a product giveaway to a niche audience with an impressive 5% engagement rate?
When it’s time to negotiate rates with brands, you need solid information on the landscape. Check out our complete guide to Instagram influencer rates.
Keep tabs on your competitors
Use social media monitoring (and listening) to stay on top of the conversation in your field, and among your competitors.
Set up Instagram-specific search streams in Hootsuite to watch what’s happening on the platform. Then set alerts using Hootsuite Insights to monitor what your competitors are up to everywhere else.
Respond to customer inquiries quickly
Speaking of being professional, this is a business. Your brand partners and customers are treating it as such. As an influencer, missing deadlines and ignoring contracts is the fastest way to burn bridges. (Besides, say, demanding free stuff from other businesses.)
Don’t buy fake followers
Just don’t. It doesn’t work and it’s kind of embarrassing. Oh, and it’s called fraud now.
However, in case you want to gain your engagement in a quick way, spend your time finding providers with reliable service.
Use Instagram tools to save time
Any entrepreneur will tell you how fast the hours disappear when you’re getting a business up and running. There are dozens of tools out there to help you automate your posts, edit your photos and video, or run reports on your account’s performance.
Promote yourself on other channels
You need to provide more than inspiration if you’re looking to turn views into sales.
Creating a blog or YouTube channel will expand your content marketing to provide the information that prospective buyers want as they make their buying decisions.
Likewise, using other social media platforms will widen your reach. And email newsletters mean you aren’t at the mercy of the Instagram algorithm when notifying your audience about new content.