Getting paid to share posts as an influencer on Instagram has probably been one of the most romanticised remote jobs in the last few years.
I have had a taste of what it is like to get paid for my Instagram posts through my account @thattravelblog. It feels pretty jammy, but it does require plenty of hard work. To grow, nurture and maintain a loyal following, then to get brands to work with you, is much harder than just taking a few photos with your iPhone.
That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, though.
In this quick-start guide, I will talk you through what I have learnt over the years.
Table of Contents
I learn something new everyday, but I hope what I can share with you will give you the tools so you can get paid for your Instagram posts too!
What Is An Influencer?
First things, first. You are an “influencer.” This is what you will be referred to by brands, clients and marketplaces.
To be an influencer, you have to be professional. So it goes without saying: be polite, be professional, and don’t share any discriminatory gestures or offensive comments. Nikon isn’t going to sponsor you if you are a ****.
You are not an influencer if you have 100,000 followers that don’t interact with you, especially if you have purchased these followers on Fiverr!
Engagement is a great deal more important than how many followers you have. Brands will recognise this and reward those who have higher engagement rates over those who don’t.
And this makes sense. If you have a low engagement average with your audience, it doesn’t matter how many people see your posts. If they’re not going to click that link in your bio or take action from your post, the brand gains exposure, but not sales. You need to be able to convert your followers into customers.
Remember to interact with your community. Reply to them; show them you care. They will reward you for it by returning the love on your future posts, tagging people in your posts, and ultimately help you grow your platform and opportunity to collaborate with brands you are passionate about.
How Many Followers You Need to Get Paid for Instagram Posts
I know I said engagement is more important, but brands will generally start to take you seriously when Instagram rewards your profile with a “k”… You need over 9,999 followers. In other words, engagement is more important than the total number of followers, but you still need a base to get started.
However, I have heard from friends and bloggers who have received free gifts and even payment for their posts with as little as 2,000 followers. It all depends on your niche. Fashion and food bloggers are better known to have gifts sent to them from an earlier stage. If you are located in sparsely populated areas, you will also find it easier to secure sponsors with local companies as there will be less competition.
For travel bloggers and other competitive industries, try to focus your efforts on growing your community of followers to at least 10K+ before you start approaching brands. You will find that this is an entry-level requirement for most influencer marketplaces – but I will talk more on those later.
How Much to Charge for Each Instagram Post
The industry standard is around $10 per 1,000 followers. So that’s $100 for each post if you have 10,000 followers! If you want to see how much earning potential your account has, use this Instagram Influencer Earnings Calculator from Influencer Marketing Hub to get started.
If that figure sounds steep, look at it ‘per hour’, considering the amount of work that goes into each sponsored post. For example: communicating with the brand, market research, professional photography, editing, not to mention software, material and equipment costs. This is also including the time you have invested into building and nurturing your community.
Each sponsored post can also run the risk of watering down your Instagram feed, so you want to make sure you like the brand you’re working with and they’re paying you enough to make it worth posting. Only partner with brands you trust and can genuinely support.
Your powers of negotiation will be tested so always have a minimum price in mind and stick to it.
If the brand is offering something in return, they may expect you to reduce your costs or offer your services in exchange. Just remember, from a business perspective, you still have your own costs to cover. You can’t pay for rent with products you may not have wanted anyway, or exposure and the promise of future paid opportunities.
I would love to hear thoughts from other Instagram influencers. What do you consider fair and do you accept payment in other forms such as product or complimentary services? (Share in my Facebook Group: Remote Work & Travel Blogging.)
Where to Find Brands Who Will Pay You
If you are sharing quality posts and engaging with a loyal following everyday, brands will approach you! But, there are ways to approach them yourself.
Marketplaces for social media influencers!
Influencer marketplaces connect brands who want to pay for exposure and social media influencers with an audience. This is especially useful when connecting with large brands that you wouldn’t normally have had the chance to speak to. Marketplaces will share briefs from trusted brands; you can then apply. Simple as that!
The best thing is most marketplaces charge the brands for their services, not you! So, you can enjoy a safe and secure way to work with large companies – for free.
Here’s 5 of my favourite online marketplaces for Instagram influencers:
To join TRIBE, all you need is 3000+ real followers on just one of three platforms; Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
Most of the brands on TRIBE are Australian-based. However, with a huge database and regularly updated opportunities, there are plenty of brands seeking global audiences. I have recently worked with Canon via the TRIBE app on their #liveforthestory campaign.
Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. Another really interesting platform for connecting with brands as big as PepsiCo.
This marketplace does things differently. Instead of setting a specific amount to get paid per post, you bid for price per like. For example, you can bid $0.19 per like. If you are accepted and your post gets 1000 likes, you earn $190!
Currently only available to “creators” through their iPhone app, this marketplace with a cool name is catered to influencers with larger audiences.
You will only be shown opportunities of which you qualify for based on the total amount of followers you have on Instagram.
The Obvious.ly platform sells itself as “the marketplace designed for Fortune 500 brands and large agencies”. I have even seen Google work with them, which is awesome.
Again, you will need to develop your following before you are granted access to their database of large brands.
If you specialise in blogging, Cooperatize connects bloggers with brands who want to increase their visibility through genuine engagement and storytelling.
Join the platform and see how you can work with some of your favourite tourism and travel brands.
Travel Hashtags for Instagram
If you liked this quick-start guide, please consider buying my new e-Guide:
Save yourself hours of research, maximise your exposure and allocate your time for more important jobs like growing your business. Get pages and pages of 3,000 engagement-boosting travel hashtags for Instagram! Including the best practices to improve your game.
Good luck! Follow me on Instagram @thattravelblog and say hello.