How Many Followers to Be an Influencer on Instagram: 5 Tips for Making Money with a Small Following

Instagram presents a compelling opportunity for influencers. The platform has over 1 billion users, and 59% of them log into the app daily.

Influencers need high-engagement platforms, and Instagram delivers. Some people wonder how many followers to be an influencer. They want to know if a certain follower count helps them make money on Instagram.

Only looking at follower numbers is the wrong approach. You can become an influencer with a small following. Focus on engagement instead of follower numbers.

Wondering how to make money on Instagram as you become an influencer? We’ll share some strategies to get paid for your time on Instagram.

1. Sell Your Products and Services

Influencers can create products and services for their followers. They can establish themselves in the industry and listen to their followers’ wants.

Offering products and services let Instagram followers see your entire ecosystem. An influencer’s digital ecosystem stretches beyond a single social network.

Your digital ecosystem encompasses all social media handles, your website, podcast, email list, and anything else. Products and services invite repeat business and help you grow on multiple platforms.

Influencers can also keep their followers on the platform through Instagram Checkout. This guide demonstrates how to utilize the new feature.

You can quickly create a digital product and offer a service in seconds. You can start offering consulting sessions for an area of expertise.

Also, you can still use this strategy if you don’t have a product or service. Many businesses will welcome you as an affiliate. Affiliates promote other people’s products and receive commissions for each sale they provide.

You’ll get paid each time someone buys a product through your affiliate link. Some affiliate programs offer recurring revenue for each customer you refer.

2. Offer Sponsorship Opportunities

You don’t need a large following to offer sponsorship opportunities. Sponsors care about your engagement and the potential for an ROI.

Even if you can’t get sponsors now, it’s possible to prepare. Continue posting content and seeing which posts get the most engagement. Publishing that type of content more often will boost overall engagement numbers.

The higher numbers help you command higher sponsorship placement fees. You can increase your sponsorship payout with bulk orders. You can offer four placements for your lowest package instead of a single placement.

Also, You may only get $5 for a sponsored post initially. Instagram influencers can reinvest these funds in Instagram ads to increase their reach.

3. Show Off Your Work to Employers

We’ve already discussed offering your products and services. This strategy takes us on a deeper dive into the prior concept.

Your Instagram posts can demonstrate your talent to potential clients and employers. Many graphic designers post their best designs on Instagram to show people what they can do.

These posts attract regular likes, and some people may ask about your services. Writers can share advice about writing great content and take screenshots of recently approved content they wrote for clients.

Some people land jobs by posting on Instagram. Using the right hashtags can put you on an employer’s radar or a potential client. Displaying your talents on Instagram can open many opportunities.

4. Ask for Tips

People appreciate social media influencers who consistently show up and provide great content. Some may appreciate your efforts to the point of chipping in for your account.

Some Instagram influencers rely on their audience’s support. This support isn’t an exchange of services for money. Instead, these influencers’ audiences feel a need for these influencers to continue producing content.

You can set up a Patreon account and link to it in your bio. Patreon lets you collect monthly payments from loyal fans who love your work.

Not every follower will support you on Patreon. However, some support can go a long way. Most people don’t make a full-time income from Patreon, but it’s a great way to fund your Instagram account.

Don’t be afraid to ask for tips. The worst-case scenario is someone saying no.

5. Use Ads in Your Videos

Instagram is increasingly shifting to a video-focused format. You can still post photos, but the social media app rewards video creators more.

Creating videos helps you grow on Instagram, but these videos also generate cash. You can enable ads in your videos and get paid each time someone sees your ad.

Instagram has certain requirements for monetization. For instance, your video can’t be shorter than two minutes to run ads. Longer videos can feature multiple ad placements.

You can make more money on Instagram by creating more videos. Instagram pays per view, not per unique view. Someone can watch the same video twice and generate ad revenue for you both times.

Posting videos consistently will turn more of your followers into fans. They will actively look for your videos and binge on their missed content. This dynamic allows you to grow on Instagram and scale your earnings.

You can tie in the other strategies when creating Instagram videos. Influencers can insert calls to action for products and services. Influencers can also demonstrate how they can help clients and employers or ask for a tip.

Video is the most engaging form of content. Use it in your Instagram story to increase your followers and earnings.

How Many Followers to be an Influencer

Many people wonder how many followers to be an influencer on Instagram. Most influencers have at least 1,000 followers, but a follower count is just a number.

The engagement you generate for each post far outweighs follower numbers.

Some accounts pay for fake followers to inflate their numbers artificially. However, lacking engagement and comments will scare away sponsors and followers.

Want to learn more about Instagram growth strategies? Continue reading this blog for additional insights and resources.

Carla Gayou
Carla Gayou

Carla is a high performing marketing professional with 5+ years of experience driving growth of in a variety of corporate and entrepreneurial environments. Strong command of digital operations with exposure to influencer marketing strategy, branding, analytics, SEO/SEM, customer success, content development, and social media Core expertise lies in managing end-to-end campaigns, creating memorable content, and facilitating improved conversion rates to enhance e-commerce operations. Adept in ensuring alignment with organizational goals, facilitating streamlined operations, and leveraging a data driven strategy used to make insightful marketing decisions.