How to make money with Instagram. This is perhaps one of the questions I get asked the most, so today I’m going to break it down and explain to you what it takes to start making money with Instagram, and the answer will actually surprise you (that’s not just a clickbait sentence). Because believe it or not, the amount of followers you have does not determine how many clients you can get. I got my first client before I started using Instagram as a marketing tool. So how come? Well, if you think the amount of followers you have determines your value, then we’re gonna have to start there. Because it doesn’t.


Your follower count does not matter

More than often people fall victim to thinking that they need to have thousands of followers in order to start making money. However, that is furthest from the truth. So if it’s not the follower count that needs to grow, then what is? Your portfolio and quality. If you focus on your portfolio and your quality and constantly increase the those two then the rest will follow. This goes to a topic I have already discussed before. The difference between a good a professional content creator. Not all good creators are professional, while some professionals are not good. In the media industry, people hire based on skill more than often, and rarely based on connections.


Find Clients

As a media and content creator, I’m always on the hunt for new clients and prospects to work with, and Instagram is a great tool for that. In fact, there are two very powerful methods that most businesses need to use in order to find more clients. Hashtags, and GeoTags. Because of those two, you will be able to narrow down your preferred demographic or target audience, and then the hunt begins! For example, more than often, almost daily, I go through the Hashtag #ATX and look for photos from local businesses. From breweries to home-made furniture makers or real estate agents. Whatever your target audience is, you can find them with the use of some hashtag exploring. And now, Instagram has a feature that allows you to subscribe to hashtags, instead of people, so you’ll always have those photos on your feed.

This coffee cup inspires me to thrive. Photo by Eddie Rod


Reach Out To Your Clients

The purpose of going through hashtags or GeoTags is to find potential customers. Based on the type of business you run, I am sure you will be able to determine what you are looking for when you see their photos.  For example, since I focus on photography and online marketing, I am on the lookout for photos of people posing that look somewhat professional, or photos that illustrate people working, or trying to promote something. Then, if I determine that these people have a need, I will reach out to them and offer a solution to their problem. Because now, more than ever, it is extremely easy to contact people, either via Direct Messages, or Email, if they have that as an option on their page.


Offer A Solution

I know I have found a potential client when I find a business that is trying to handle their own online media. Mostly because they understand the difficulty of what it takes to keep up with it, and because I offer a solution to their problem. But first, before you message the client, take a few minutes to get to know them. Scroll through their feed. See if maybe they have already worked with someone in the past, and things like that. Be prepared to throw a small but powerful elevator pitch on your DM. Explain why you think you can solve their issues, but not how. The last thing you want is to fix someone’s problem without getting paid.

Mount Bonell in Austin, Texas
Take the time to enjoy the small things around you.

Ask For The Sale

If you composed your DM correctly, and explain why you think you are the right person to fix the problem your potential client is having, then they will ask you how you can do it. This is your time to shine. And this is the part where most people give-in and break. It’s time to ask for that sale. Because at this point you hopefully should have built enough trust and value about yourself and product that your client will be ready to move to the next level. In my case, I offer meetings. But I ask for at least a $50 deposit upfront. During that meeting, I will explain my entire plan, ideas, and marketing strategies with my client. We will brainstorm on a package that will meet their needs, and so on. But in order to get there, you’re gonna have to ask for that sale.



This is by far the most important tip of this entire article. REPEAT! It doesn’t matter how good your work is, or how many million followers you have. When it comes to business and sales, you are gonna experience denial. You will have people read your DMs and not respond. You’re gonna have people say they cannot afford you. Or whatever excuse they come up with, you are gonna get a lot of “no’s” In fact, for every ONE client that I have worked with, I was rejected by at least 10 to 20 clients for one reason or another. And this is what breaks people. People are afraid of rejection. They think that maybe they are not capable or maybe they are not worth what they think they are worth because they will get passed on or ignored. So be prepared to be rejected. And don’t forget to ask your client “why”. It seems weird, but more than often their reasoning is not what you think it is. Use that data to help you grow!

Do you have any questions or would you like more information on how to use Instagram to make money? Leave a comment down below and don’t forget to follow us!



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