Establishing a full-time career as an Influencer on Instagram is no longer a pipe dream due to more and more brands seeking “micro-influencers” and “nano influencers”.
This means if you have less than 100,000 followers, you can absolutely start making money! Typically you are considered a micro-influencer if you have over 10K followers, and a nano influencer if you have over 1K followers.
However, you need to realize that it isn't quite as simple as say, YouTube. Instagram doesn't have a comparable payment system in place, for example, so influencers have to rely solely on sponsored content to make a living.
In order to make sure you are getting the best deal, influencers and brands need to come up with a mutually beneficial formula. This will depend upon what each see’s as a key component of the deal, and will typically take into account an influencer's following, engagement metrics, and niche, as well as deal terms like exclusivity, usage rights, and timing.
Some influencers may charge up to $1000 per Instagram story, but this tends to be when the follower count is upwards of 100K. Micro and nano influencers may typically charge more like $100- $200 per story, which can still end up creating a very sizeable paycheck.
Influencers on Instagram can also earn commissions on affiliate links, profits from selling merchandise, and proceeds from monetization tools the platform is slowly rolling out. It has been reported that many are currently earning thousands of dollars from Instagram Reels Bonus Program, for example.
There are also other ways influencers can generate income using Instagram. Many use platforms like LTK and ShopStyle to generate affiliate links or discount codes provided by brands to earn a percentage of sales. In 2021, Instagram released the ability to add link stickers in Stories to all users — regardless of the follower count or verification status.
Instagram has also recently announced several new monetization features for creators — including its own affiliate-marketing tools and subscriptions. And although the platform's ad-revenue share program for ads played on IGTV (which rebranded to "Instagram Video") came to an end in 2022, creators have turned to Reels as a way to earn money.
Instagram now has several incentive programs under the umbrella of "Bonuses." These pay creators for using features like Live or Reels and meeting certain goals or challenges.
Creators can also make money on Instagram through "Badges" (a tipping feature) and selling their own merchandise or products in-app.
So, what are you waiting for, if you have a follower base you can absolutely become an influencer using Instagram, and start supplementing or even generation a very sizable income!