How to generate Income from your Instagram Profile
You have asked yourself the question probably many times before when you see huge so-called 'Instagram Influencers' in the Photography niche - How do they manage to build a following and earn their fortune by only taking pictures while you do nothing different?
From the outside it seems pretty easy, am I right? Just upload the photographs you take while on vacation and use some hashtags to gain traction. Do this for like five years (the earlier you start the better) and look at your follower count rising tremendously.
But when you investigate a bit further you explore a whole new strategy and hard work that hides behind the facade. I can speak out of experience and can confidently say, it is very hard and takes a lot of time as well as effort to grow your profile.
Below you can read through the most effective strategies, we recommend you to pursue, if your goal is to monetize the content you create and live from it:
1. Using hashtags the right way
You can use up to 30 Hashtags under your post. They are obviously more effective when you choose them wisely and related to your content.
We recommend you search for hashtags in your niche and copy-paste them in your 'notes' when they have a total of 500.000 up to 5.000.000 Posts.
It is important to note, that there have to be a few recent uploads but not too many - That should be the case if you have found hashtags within the above reach!
Now you need to decide for yourself if you really want to use 30 hashtags or stick to 15-20 since that looks less spammy. ALWAYS comment the hashtags after you uploaded your content, so your caption keeps a clean and clear look.
2. Engage with the community you try to create
After you have successfully chosen your hashtags, it is not only time to use them every time you upload but also to engage in the discover section.
We strongly recommend you to use Gary Vee's strategy, which states that you choose nine hashtags and comment ten times on each hashtag.
So after you finished the task (which takes about 1-2 hours, if done properly) there should be 90 content related pictures with your kind words under them.
If you ask yourself: what am I supposed to comment 90 times, I am nowhere near that creative?! - Then I welcome you with warm arms since we struggle with that part as well.
However, there are often questions in captions, that you can answer or take part in discussions in the comment section.
There are plenty of options to gain some attention and support other photographers.
Last but not least it should be obvious to answer EVERY COMMENT you get on your uploads, no matter good or bad since the Instagram Algorithm recognizes that with time.
3. Create Content you actually truly believe in
We cannot stress enough how important it is to genuinely stand behind what you create and hope to make money from in the future.
You have to stick with what you are doing and stay motivated to engage every day on that platform, so your efforts bear fruits. That is the easiest if you really enjoy your own content because then it's not work.
Every Sunday evening ask yourself the question: am I looking forward to Monday? If the answer is YES, then you are doing everything right!
Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and many other platforms might give you inspiration and ideas when it comes to creating new material every day.
You probably don't have the time to always visit the most stunning places in your Country, so you have to think of an alternative that still fits your profile and image overall.
Always remember: Content is King!
4. It goes down in the DM's
You have probably figured out by yourself that 'famous' people on Instagram often get free products or brand deals to promote on their profile. Guess what: You can do the same with your work.
Don't be afraid to message fellow Photographers to ask for a feature or some type of other value you can provide. If they have an email on their profile, reach out there too.
Write something like this:
- Hey [Name], I really enjoy your profile (say something specific) and I was wondering what you think of my work?
- What's up [Name], I just now found your Instagram page, what a pity! You are so talented - do you mind giving me some feedback / what camera do you use?
You see the point of this - just start conversations and see where they lead. Your goal is to build a loyal community that enjoys your content just as much as you do.
If you suddenly get the notification of the one person you have been chatting with over the last five weeks '[Name] tagged you in a post', oh boy I can already imagine your smile :)
Besides that, it is also helpful to establish relationships with your followers by sending them value after they followed your page. Think Photography Guides, Blogposts, or Shoutouts if you like their content.
5. Be patient and consistent
If Instagram's algorithm notices that you upload and comment continuously it will prefer your content over others and push you to the discover page.
This scenario can also happen when people with high follower counts (you have probably given them value) start liking your picture and engaging.
Growing on Instagram is a steady and long race but will eventually pay off, believe me.
Soon you will be the one that gets the brand deals and is paid for shoutouts from artists or other establishments.
To the extreme, you can also create a brand around your name while starting to connect on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and Youtube.
Especially Youtube and Instagram are the perfect platforms for Photographers and Filmmakers to express themselves and receive great attention.
And who knows, maybe some of our products might help you on your journey as they did with some Photographers we support daily on Instagram ;)
Below you can check out our Top Selling Camera Straps!