How to Make Money on Instagram: 3 Foolproof Strategies (2/2)

to make money on Instagram

Continue with two other strategies to make money on Instagram.

Strategy 2: Become an affiliate marketer

Not like sponsored content, this technique is less about spreading awareness and more about making sales. It’s because you only make money when your followers truly purchase the product. On the plus side, as an affiliate marketer, you do not need to worry about producing that product or fulfilling orders.

The downside is that this technique requires a solid strategy if you wish to develop without annoying your audience. Also, the term ‘affiliate marketing’ has a bad reputation. It could be related to scammy promises of seven-figure monthly incomes and… yachts?

Approached ethically, affiliate marketing is actually a wise, and well-established angle on marketing. You recommend your favorite pens, or mascara, or dog food, and provide either a link to purchase the product, or else a promo code with a small discount. Both link and promo code are unique to you, so the merchant could track sales back to your efforts. You earn a fee or percentage for every sale.

Meanwhile, as Instagram rolls out product tags and Instagram Checkout, marketers are no longer limited to saying ‘link in bio.’ As customers discover it simpler to purchase on Instagram, affiliate marketers might well see their sales improve.

Step 1: Select a niche

An affiliate marketer’s niche differs from a sponsored influencer’s niche in that they could be more product-focused. For example, affiliate marketers sometimes begin as product reviewers.

When you are just starting out, you have the luxury of selecting an audience with particular material desires, e.g., dog owners who need guidance and deals on the best dog food. (And the best collars, the best dog bowls, the best dog goggles, et cetera.)

Step 2: Find merchants to affiliate with

You could affiliate with a brand directly, or you could join what’s known as an ‘affiliate network,’ or both. (The reply is always both.)

Affiliate networks are intermediary platforms between brands who run affiliate programs and marketers like you. They exist because, while a solo entrepreneur selling online courses may be eager to increase their reach to your audience, a Fortune 500 firm must scale and automate their efforts. Affiliate networks are designed to offer you an enormous range of products to select from. And you are not limited to just one network, either.

Amazon Associates is the most obvious place to begin. The limitation is that they do not offer codes; you must use the affiliate link they provide. While that’s good for Pinterest, blogs, or email newsletters, on Instagram you have to put that link in your bio, or—if you have a business account—your Instagram Story.

ClickbankRakuten, and CJ Affiliates are also reputable affiliate networks to think about.

Step 3: Post about the product

As with influencers, affiliate marketing additionally falls under FTC and ASA rules, so be clear about the nature of your relationship with the product. Luckily, 54% of people say they appreciate transparency when marketers divulge their relationships, and the #advert hashtag does not offend them.

Strategy 3: Sell your own products

The third strategy to make money on Instagram goes beyond marketing and into the realm of actual e-commerce.

Rather than utilizing your personal brand to sell other people’s products, sell your own. This may be a coffee-table book of your hottest pictures. However, it can also be your time and advice as a consultant; or your high-end fashion line. And when you already own a business, selling on Instagram is an obvious addition to your marketing technique.

Turning your audience into your customers might well be a natural match. And with the rise of e-commerce platforms such as Shopify, and print-on-demand services like Printful, it’s more and more easy 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 programs. Your product may be a natural, intuitive extension of what you are already doing, such as @rad.slime’s slime shop.

Meanwhile, model/influencer Alexa Chung made her eponymous high-end label, and model/influencer Jeanne Damas founded @rouje. (So now please refer to both of them as ‘model/influencer/designer.’)

On a more attainable scale, photographer @AndrewKnapp added an e-commerce income stream to his influencer dog Momo’s account @momosface by selling stickers, books and prints.

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Be more like your dog.

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Step 2: Build your product

In case your business plan involves selling your own merchandise (as opposed to, say, dropshipping—however more on that later) you should 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 types of shopping-focused features: the Explore tab, product tags, shoppable posts, shoppable Stories, and Instagram Checkout.

In order to benefit from them, you need a business account.

Step 4: Build out your e-commerce infrastructure

Set up a site to provide more info to your customers. Think about running a few ads to build awareness. You will probably also need to build a landing page to guide people via the final purchasing steps. Keep your audience’s experience at top of mind.

Step 5: Post your products

You could hype your products utilizing regular Instagram posts or Stories. Instagram analytics tools will assist you to measure your success.

Step 6: Fulfill your orders

Relying on your product, you could handle inventory yourself, outsource to a third-party logistics firm, 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 will be spending on this, so be realistic.

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