How much money Instagram influencers make

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How much money Instagram influencers make
Tyler Chanel is a "micro" influencer with under 15,000 Instagram followers. Courtesy Tyler Chanel
  • Influencers on Instagram earn money in a multitude of ways.
  • From sponsored content to getting tipped on IG Live, creators balance several streams of income.
  • We spoke with more than a dozen creators who shared how much money they earn.

Instagram and influencers go hand-in-hand.

The Meta-owned social-media platform has become a primary stage for influencers launching their careers. And they don't need millions of followers to earn money on Instagram.

As more brands turn to smaller creators like "nano" or "micro" influencers with under 100,000 followers, establishing a career as a creator is no longer a pipe dream.

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But it's not so straightforward to start earning money on Instagram. Unlike YouTube, Instagram doesn't yet have a comparable payment system in place like YouTube's Partner Program. Typically, influencers rely on sponsored content to make a living. 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, influencer Alexa Collins — who has over one million followers — charged upwards of $1,000 for a sponsored Story on Instagram when Insider spoke with her. Meanwhile, Tyler Chanel, a micro influencer, starts at $100 for an Instagram story and goes up from there, depending on the content and deliverables.

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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, while also calculating added fees like exclusivity, usage rights, and timing.

But if influencers negotiate well, brand deals can lead to big paychecks. For instance, one influencer told Insider she had booked $700,000 in brand deals halfway into 2021.

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

Influencers also make money on Instagram through commissions on affiliate links, selling merchandise and DTC products, and monetization tools the platform is slowly rolling out. One influencer who spoke with Insider made an average of $5,000 per month in 2020 through affiliate links alone.

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

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Here's a comprehensive breakdown of Insider's Instagram money log series:

How much money Instagram influencers make from brand deals

Working with brands on sponsored content is how many influencers earn an income on Instagram.

But how much money do influencers actually charge for these deals?

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19 Instagram influencers told us how much they made from sponsored content. Here's a full breakdown of our coverage:

"Macro" and "Mega" influencers

Micro influencers

Nano influencers

How Instagram influencers earn money beyond brand deals

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

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

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Affiliate marketing

Influencers use platforms like LiketoKnow.it and ShopStyle to generate affiliate links, or discount codes provided by brands, to earn a percentage of sales.

Adding these links just got easier, too. In October, Instagram released the ability to add link stickers in Stories to all users — regardless of the follower count or verification status.

The platform also began testing native-to-Instagram affiliate marketing tools for influencers in 2021. Instagram has slowly expanded the test to more creators and has added new features like affiliate shops.

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Read more:

Getting paid by Instagram

Instagram has announced several monetization features for creators — including its own affiliate-marketing tools. The platform's suite of money-making tools includes ad-revenue shares for ads played on IGTV (which recently rebranded to "Instagram Video") and an incentive program called "Bonuses" that pays creators for using features like Live or Reels.

Facebook, now called Meta, announced in July that it would invest over $1 billion through 2022 into rewarding its creators.

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In December, meme creator Jackson Weimer told Insider that he was paid over $6,000 for posting Reels in November.

Creators can also make money on Instagram through "Badges" (a tipping feature) and selling their own merchandise or products in-app.

Read more:

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Selling 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 and DTC products.

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

Read more:

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Reselling clothing

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

Read more:

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