Making money from social media, particularly Instagram, has become a widely accepted reality. It’s the reason why the influencer industry is continuing to boom and grow. As more people become aware of the income-generating possibilities that Instagram provides, there are also more myths about making money on Instagram that get in the way.
In the hopes of calming your worries and answering the “can I really do this” question you constantly ask yourself, I’m busting 5 myths about making money on Instagram in this post.
5 Myths About Making Money on Instagram
“The only way to make money on Instagram is through brand partnerships.”
“My following isn’t large enough to get paid.”
“I don’t have the right equipment to get paid for this.”
The list goes on. Having generated income in various ways over the years, I know these myths (and more) to be untrue.
Let’s start by debunking the first one…
Myth #1: You Can Only Make Money on Instagram Through Brand Partnerships
This is entirely false, even if you’re an influencer who works primarily through brand collaborations.
Sure, brand partnerships are a great way to generate income and monetize your account. But knowing how to build a community on Instagram is also key for business owners and service providers.
Let’s say you’re a virtual assistant. Chances are you won’t be making money from brand partnerships on Instagram (although it’s entirely possible).
However, the income you generate from Instagram will be by attracting your ideal audience through your content and eventually converting them into paying clients.
Now let’s say you’re an influencer who has only made money through Instagram through brand sponsorships. Building your own product suite (e.g. Lightroom presets, ebooks, online courses, etc.) can help you add an additional income stream to your business.
In that case, Instagram will help you market your products, translating into more income earning opportunities through digital products.
Myth #2: Your Income and Earning Potential is Tied to the Number of Likes and Followers
Another common Instagram money-making myth is that your income and earning potential depend on the number of likes and followers you have.
This isn’t true whether you’re an influencer, freelancer, or business owner.
There’s no denying that macro-influencers have a larger earning potential when it comes to brand partnerships, especially when compared to micro and nano-influencers.
But I’ve also seen many large accounts with a following of 500k (or more) that struggle to sell their digital products.
On the other hand, I’ve seen very small accounts with a following of 2000 or less who make 6-figures or more selling their online courses or digital products.
While there is definitely merit to having a large following, many people forget that it’s not the size that really matters – it’s the quality. No one will argue with the power of having a highly-engaged audience of over 100k. But having a large audience won’t matter if your audience is passive.
Myth #3: You Need Expensive and High-Tech Equipment to Make Good Money on Instagram
When I first started monetizing my Instagram account as an influencer, I was working with nothing but an old model iPhone.
While it might feel like you need state-of-the-art camera equipment, monetizing your Instagram account really isn’t about the tools you have…
It’s about the quality of the content you’re providing.
This is so much more than the quality of your pictures. Instead, focus on the value you’re giving your audience within your niche.
If you’re a social media manager, creating content that educates your audience on some strategies or management tips will help them trust you as an authority in the industry.
Or, if you own a brand design business, writing captions that help your clients with some of their struggles will help them see the value in your services and offers.
For both of these situations, creating a carousel post on Canva will suffice, which solves the problem of needing any high-tech equipment.
Now, if you’re an influencer reading this, you might think, “Christina, that’s great and all, but I’m an influencer, and I need to create photo and video content.”
Even so, let me remind you that when I first started as an influencer, I was working with an iPhone 8.
Needless to say, the quality of the camera on most smartphones today are good enough to create jaw-dropping photo and video content.
Myth #4: The Market is Too Saturated to Succeed
Go to any supermarket, and I promise you’ll find multiple brands selling the same product. If you think about it, there are hundreds, thousands, even millions of different brands selling the same thing.
Don’t believe me? Think about all the brands of bottled water that you can name off the top of your head.
That being said, a “saturated” market is not an indication of your ability to make money. And that’s no different on Instagram.
It doesn’t matter if there are other influencers, freelancers, or business owners who are in the same niche or provide the same services. Focus on being yourself and expressing your unique voice and you’ll definitely stand out.
Myth #5: The Algorithm Makes it Impossible to Grow and Monetize These Days
Last but not least, I cannot tell you how often I’ve heard people express their fear about the elusive Instagram “algorithm.”
The truth is, since the beginning of Instagram, everyone has been freaking out about the algorithm. Add on the layer of Reels, the banishment of IGTVs, and a multitude of other updates… it can feel like growing and making money on Instagram is nearly impossible these days.
But here’s the thing – the algorithm is just a tool to help your content get in front of the right eyes.
If the algorithm were truly out to get you (and everyone else on Instagram), the platform would lose any loyalty amongst its users.
This is why my team and I are constantly updating The Influencer Bootcamp, so that we can keep our students on top of any algorithm changes and developing trends.
Additionally, I focus on teaching tried-and-true strategies to help you create valuable, engaging, and authoritative content that gets you in front of the right audience so that you’ll be able to attract your target audience no matter what.
Why You Shouldn’t Fall for These 5 Myths About Making Money on Instagram
Instagram has become an incredibly important marketing tool for business owners, freelancers, and influencers. It has become standard practice for any business to have an account.
This means the monetizing opportunities the platform provides go far beyond brand sponsorships and collaborations.
As an influencer who has once relied solely on brand partnerships for my income, my biggest advice for you is to ignore these myths and get creative when it comes to monetizing on Instagram.
Whether it’s by creating a digital product, user-generated content for brands, or an online course, there are many ways to make money on Instagram, no matter how big your following is or where you are on your entrepreneurial journey.