You’re on Instagram. I’m on Instagram. These days, everyone is on Instagram. Yes, it is the perfect place to get lost in pretty photos and funny videos. But are you using it to make you money, too?
As a photographer, you’re already creating products that can be sold! Here are some ways to make money on Instagram!
Keeping things simple can be effective. Let’s look at how to get started.
The most direct and simple way to sell prints is to do a post that tells your audience about your offer. You can create a graphic with a free tool like Canva or use a photo (if you want to sell one particular photo).
In the caption, let your followers know that you’re selling prints. Be sure to include sizes available and a price for each size.
To keep things simple, you can ask them to comment on the photo that they want. Or they can DM you with the size they want to purchase. To invoice, you can use Paypal.
If you’re ready to take it up a notch or if you want to make the print shop a bit more official, that’s pretty simple to do! First, you’ll need to set up a separate site to house your e-commerce.
You can use free sites such as Wix or WordPress, or you can invest in a paid site. Either way, you then have a place to direct people to for shopping.
Be sure to add the site’s link into your profile. Then create posts that tell people to go to the link in profile for your shop.
Instagram also has a shopping feature that allows you to tag products that are linked directly to your shop listing.
For best results, build up a bit of a following first. That way you have an engaged audience when you do offer items for sale.
Sell Digital Photos
Just like you would sell prints, you can also offer digital photos for stock use. Loads of businesses need images for their marketing, and they often seek out photos from big stock photography sites like Shutterstock.
So why not offer them another avenue for unique imagery? You can sell photos individually or in themed bundles.
For individual photos, pick images that are bold and unique. For bundles, think of general themes that are popular and can serve different needs.
Just as with the prints, you can offer the photos from a post. Or you can set up an e-commerce site that people can be linked to for shopping.
Create Digital Products for Other Photographers
Instagram is perfect for before-and-afters. Why not use that to sell products? Creating digital items like presets or actions allows you to serve other photographers. Especially those who are beginners eager to learn.
The process is the same as when selling any other product. Take advantage of Instagram’s ability to post multiple photos. People will be able to see what an impact your presets can have on a photo. Everyone loves a before-and-after, right?
Sponsored Posts and Affiliate Links
If you’ve gained a sizable following on Instagram, there are probably opportunities for affiliate or sponsored posts! These are posts that you create in your voice and brand look to advertise a product or service.
When it’s an affiliate post, it leads viewers to an affiliate link. If they make a purchase, this will give you a percentage commission. It’s easy and simple to set up affiliate accounts for most products found online.
Once you have a product or company in mind, Google their name and “affiliate”. You’ll be able to find information on what affiliate program they work with.
When a company pays you to create a post for their product it’s called a sponsored post. Above you’ll see a sponsored post from Jenna Kutcher. She has a very large following and uses sponsored posts as a regular part of her monthly income.
Affiliate accounts can be created by anyone for free and are dependent on your driving sales and traffic. But a sponsored post relies on having a relationship with the sponsor company.
Once you have a large following, think of what brands or products you enjoy. Make sure they also fit in well with your brand.
Then you’ll want to reach out to that company, create a genuine relationship, and pitch yourself for sponsorship. Having a large engaged audience will be crucial to getting sponsored. But it also needs to be a good match between your brand and theirs!
For example, as a photographer, you wouldn’t be doing sponsored ads for cleaning products. You would, however, do sponsored ads for camera bags.
To maintain authenticity with your audience, be fully transparent about any sponsored ads. Include hashtags such as #ad or #sponsored.
Instagram is fun and addictive, but it can also be a great marketing tool for extra cash.
As a photographer, you have the advantage of already creating visual content regularly. Why not allow that talent to add another income stream?
Through prints, digital products, and partnerships, Instagram can open doors you never imagined.
Check out our post on how to sell photos on Etsy next!