It seems like everyone today is trying to grow a side hustle. But what if you could make money from something you already do?
Cue Instagram affiliate marketing, or sponsored content. If you’re a regular Instagram user, you could make money off this online activity you’re already partaking in — even if your audience isn’t huge. Have you ever wondered how much your Instagram is worth, or, in other words, how much to charge for an Instagram post? Here’s a breakdown from a variety of sources — including digital marketers, influencer worth calculators, and Instagram influencers themselves.
According to e-commerce solutions company Shopify, Instagrammers can be paid for posts once they reach about 1,000 engaged followers. In fact, in 2018, about 84 percent of sponsored posts were made by micro-influencers (users with less than 100,000 followers), according to influencer marketing company Klear. There are even instances of Instagram accounts with fewer than 1,000 followers being paid. Influencer calculators suggest that users with around 500 followers can be paid for posts if they have high engagement.
Instagram defines engagement as likes, comments or saves on an Instagram post, and replies, swipes and saves on an Instagram story. Engagement is deemed more valuable than impressions — the number of times your content was shown to users — because it suggests your audience is interested in your content and have an active relationship with it. This active relationship may encourage them to visit affiliate links, or even go as far as buying affiliated items. That’s what advertisers are looking for.
Marketing platform Later says that digital marketers “generally adhere to the one percent per follower (or $100 per 10,000 followers) rule.” However, factors like engagement rate, content requirements, campaign length and other specifics can affect this price.
According to Later, Shane McCloskey — Director of Sales at influencer platform, Influence.Co — says there is “ no standardization in how influencers charge for partnership collaborations.” But, there are a few rules influencers tend to follow. Posts tend to be worth more than stories, and videos tend to be worth more than stills.
Sidewalker Daily, a free resource website for travel bloggers who are seeking paid partnerships, suggests charging clients using one of three methods: by the hour, by average engagements or by average impressions. If a client is looking for a campaign that is high-production, or spans a long period of time, ask to be paid by the hour. If a campaign is looking to sell a product or direct traffic towards an external link, ask to be paid by your average amount of engagements (that’s what the client is looking for, anyway). If a campaign is looking to introduce or elevate a brand, ask to be paid by your average amount of impressions. Be sure to tack on extra costs, like travel costs or costs of equipment, the site says.
But how can you calculate the worth of an hour of your time, or an impression or engagement? Ask another influencer. Most of the influencers cited by Later suggest that they follow the “$100 per 10,000 followers” rule. For example, travel and lifestyle blogger Christina Galbato told the site that she charges $2,200 per post and $700 per story to reach her 223,000 followers.
Sometimes, micro-influencers find that they must dip slightly below the typical $100 per 10,000 followers to attract clients. For example, Shelcy Joseph, one of the women behind @nycxclothes, told The Penny Hoarder that she makes about $75 per sponsored feed post to reach her 11,700 followers.
However, working with national brands will elevate your chances of making sums closer to the typical rate. If you are an influencer with less than 10,000 followers, clients may offer to pay you in free merchandise or discounts instead of cash. Instagram influencer Mikayla Tencer, the woman behind @mikayla.wtb, told Fairygodboss she has received free products to reach her 1,700 followers.
If you are short on influencer connections, or if you’d like a more specific estimate of what your Instagram audience and engagement rate is worth, use an influencer calculator like the one offered by influencerfee.com. Based on my calculations, they suggest an account with 500 followers can make about $5 a post, an account with 1,000 followers can make about $10 a post, and an account with 10,000 followers can make about $100 a post — give or take, based on engagement rates.