In this day and age, getting paid to share one's life and adventures to the world through social media is a dream arrangement for millennials. We've heard of "Instafamous" people getting paid as much as six figures a year to maintain a flashy feed. How did they turn a hobby into a full-fledged career?
Dave Weatherall, an online influencer who curates a popular Instagram account called @thattravelblog, spills his secrets to growing your own account and getting the attention of companies willing to pay you to do so. With 16.8k followers, he's learned quite a few things about the business of Instagram blogging.
To help beginners out, he wrote a quick-start guide that goes through the essentials, from how many followers you'll need to how much to charge for each post (once you get to that point).
Click Next to find out what it takes to become an Instagram star.
Become an influencer
The term "influencer" is one that companies, clients and brands use to describe a person with a strong online social presence. Professionalism is of utmost importance because maintaining an influencer status depends heavily on how one portrays him or herself to the world.
"To be an influencer, you have to be professional," says Weatherall. "So it goes without saying - be polite, be professional, don't share any discriminatory gestures or offensive comments. Nikon isn't going to sponsor you if you are a ****."
Becoming an influencer isn't just a numbers game - yes, the number of followers you have matters, but companies are most interested in people with fans who actually interact with them. Most often than not, people with higher engagement on their Instagram will be better rewarded by paying companies.
So make sure to reply to comments! Your feed may be pretty, but a healthy engagement will make it stand out from the rest.
Click Next to find out how many followers you'll need to become an Instagram star.
How many followers you'll need
As previously stated, the amount of followers you have isn't the only thing companies care about, but it's still one of their important considerations. Typically, accounts with over 9,999 followers are the ones that are sought after, which means getting that "k" to show on your profile is a big deal.
However, there have been cases where Instagram users were still paid or given gifts for their posts even if they only had 2,000 or so followers. Weatherall says it all depends on your niche.
"Fashion and food bloggers are better known to have gifts sent to them from an early age. 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."
Weatherall also states that travel bloggers will have to go the extra mile to get attention, because it's a more competitive industry. Getting over 10k followers is an entry-level requirement for most influencer marketplaces.
How much to charge for each post
Currently, the industry standard of pay for Instagram influencers is approximately $10 per 1,000 followers. So, if you have 10,000 followers, you could potentially ask for $100 per post!
It may seem a little excessive, but when you consider the amount of work that goes into each sponsored post, it makes a lot of sense. Most people think that all it takes is the click of a camera and a few filters, but it's much more than that.
Weatherall says that "communicating with the brand, market research, professional photography editing, not to mention software, material and equipment costs" are all part of an influencer's Instagram process. Below is an example proposal that Weatherall offered to one of his clients for a $100 post:
- 1 x Dedicated Instagram post (12K + followers)
- 1 x Link on my profile for 24 hours
- 5 x Instagram Stories to tell their story and encourage follows (I did 6 in the end)
- Free Facebook and Twitter promo
Where to find the brands that will pay you
Once you gain enough traction, companies will start to approach you. But while you're still building your account and network, you need to get your brand out there and the best way to do that is through influencer marketplaces.
"Influencer marketplaces connect brands who want to pay for exposure with social media influencers who have an audience," says Weatherall. "This is especially useful when connecting with large brands that you wouldn't normally have had the chance to speak to."
Here are some of Weatherall's favourite influencer marketplaces:
TRIBE - To join, you'll need 3,000 real followers and Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts. It's Australian-based, but larger brands like Canon are possible.
Fullbottle - To join, you'll need Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts. If you're lucky, you could land an opportunity to connect to some big brands like PepsiCo.
Popular Pays - Caters to influencers with significantly larger followings. Connects to huge brands like Nike, McDonalds, Target, Starbucks, etc.
Obvious.ly - Caters to Fortune 500 companies, major businesses, and large agencies.
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