How much money Instagram influencers make

Jul 04, 2023
How much money Instagram influencers make

Instagram and influencers go hand-in-hand. 

The Meta-owned social-media platform has become a primary stage for influencers launching their careers.

Those careers can take off quickly. For example, the 26-year-old influencer Achieng Agutu, who had about 488,000 Instagram followers when Insider interviewed her, earned over $1 million in her first year as a full-time creator.

Influencers don't need tons of followers to start earning money on Instagram. As more brands turn to smaller creators like "nano" or "micro" influencers with under 100,000 followers, establishing a full-time career as a creator is no longer a pipe dream.

Typically, influencers rely on sponsored content to make money. From posting a picture to the main feed with #ad to sharing swipe-up links in a series of stories, sponsored content takes on many different shapes.

Rates for these types of brand deals also vary.

For instance, Nate White, a comedy creator who had 340,000 Instagram followers when Insider interviewed him, has a base rate of $3,000. Meanwhile, Jour'dan Haynes, a nano influencer, told Insider she can earn up to $600 per post.

To land on these rates, some influencers rely on formulas like charging brands $100 for every 10,000 followers. But not everyone agrees on one formula. 

Each deal has to also account for an influencer's following, engagement metrics, and niche, as well as deal terms like exclusivity, usage rights, and timing.

But if influencers negotiate well, brand deals can lead to big paychecks. For instance, one influencer with 275,000 followers told Insider she had booked $700,000 in brand deals in six months. And two micro influencers told Insider they earned six-figure yearly salaries as full-time creators.

Sponsored content, however, isn't the only income generator for these influencers — although it is generally the most lucrative.

Influencers on Instagram can also earn commissions on affiliate links, profits from selling merchandise, and proceeds from monetization tools Meta has introduced. One influencer who spoke with Insider made an average of $5,000 per month through affiliate links alone.

Instagram is even testing an ad-revenue sharing program that would let creators earn money for high-performing reels on the app.

Other platforms, like Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok, have introduced similar programs for short-form video formats. YouTube also shares ad revenue with creators for longer-form videos through its Partner Program.

Insider has spoken with dozens of Instagram influencers about how much money they charge brands for sponsored content and how else they make a living using the app. 

Here's a comprehensive breakdown of Insider's cover on How much money Instagram influencers make:

How much money Instagram influencers make from brand deals

Many influencers earn money on Instagram by working with brands on sponsored content.

In 2022, Instagram launched a test of its Creator Marketplace, which connects brands and influencers directly on the app. Although the feature has received mixed reviews from creators in its first year of testing, Meta introduced more features and partners in 2023.

40 Instagram influencers told us how much they charge for and have earned from sponsored content. Here's a full breakdown of our coverage, in order of follower count at the time of interviews:

"Macro" and "Mega" influencers

Micro influencers

Nano influencers

How Instagram influencers earn money beyond brand deals

From earning a commission through affiliate links to getting tipped by followers on an Instagram Live, there's a host of supplementary sources of income for creators on Instagram. 

How much money do influencers make by promoting links or selling their own products?

Affiliate marketing

Influencers use platforms like LTK and ShopStyle to generate affiliate links or discount codes provided by brands to earn a percentage of sales. (Read more about the top affiliate platforms for influencers.)

Adding these links just got easier, too. In 2021, Instagram released the ability to add link stickers in Stories to all users — regardless of the follower count or verification status. Instagram now lets users include up to five links in their bios, too.

The platform also began testing native-to-Instagram affiliate marketing tools for influencers in 2021, but later shut down the program during the summer of 2022.

Using Instagram's suite of monetization tools

Since 2020, Instagram has announced several monetization features for creators. 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.

In May, Meta announced that it would begin testing a new ad-rev share model on Instagram reels with a select group of creators. Instagram announced it was ending its "Bonuses" program for reels a few months prior.

Creators can also make money on Instagram by receiving "Badges" or "Gifts" (tipping features for Live and Reels, respectively), launching Instagram Subscriptions, and selling their own merchandise or products in-app.

Selling courses, direct-to-consumer products, and merch

Influencers can sell their own products and merchandise directly through Instagram's shopping features, or leverage their audience to promote their own brands, DTC productscoaching services, or online courses.

Some influencers, like Huda Kattan, go on to found brands that are worth millions — or even billions — of dollars.

Reselling clothing

Resale apps like Poshmark, Depop, and Etsy have become lucrative small businesses for many Instagram creators. 

Source: businessinsider