How Many Instagram Followers Do You Need to Make Money on Instagram: A Guide for Small Business Growth

How Many Instagram Followers Do You Need to Make Money on Instagram: A Guide for Small Business Growth

Did you know that Instagram users can monetize their accounts and don’t need that many followers to make money on Instagram? If you are a small business or Instagram influencer, this article will tell you how to make money. Be sure to follow us on Viralgrowing for more helpful articles.

How many followers do you need to make money on Instagram?

There is no magic follower number to start making money. Some Instagram users can earn good money while having less than 10k followers. Others can have tens of thousands of Instagram followers but don’t make much money.

The more Instagram followers you have, the higher your earnings potential. However, it also depends on how engaged those Instagram followers are and how you monetize your Instagram account and niche.

If your account caters to a smaller niche, you may have a smaller follower count. However, those followers may be more dedicated and support every post you make. They may also be more interested in buying your products on your Instagram shop. This unlocks the potential for you to earn money using your account. To make money, you can use Instagram Pay or Meta Pay to make and receive payments.

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Understanding the Instagram Influencer Spectrum

To better understand how to make money, you should understand the types of Instagram influencers on the platform. In 2023, there are five types of influencers:

Nano Influencers

These are influencers with 1k-10k followers. While small, they can make good money on Instagram if they have a specific niche.


These are accounts with 10k-100k followers. For a smaller niche, micro-influencers can be on top. For a more extensive niche, they may be small but essential voices.


These are influencers with 100k-500k followers. They may be respectable influencers in more prominent niches but nowhere near the top.

Macro Influencers

These are influencers with 500k-1 million followers. They are big names, able to make lots of money via sponsored posts and their dedicated fans.

Mega Influencers

These influencers have a million or more followers. As long as they have monetized their accounts properly and have an engaged audience, they can make money on Instagram hand over fist.

How Do Instagram Users Make Money on Instagram?

If you want to earn money as an Instagram business account or influencer, here are some ways to monetize your profile.

Sponsored Posts

This is how most Instagram influencers make their dough. Sponsored posts involve a brand paying the influencer to create a post promoting the product. Because the influencer’s follower count tends to listen to everything the influencer has to say, this makes it more likely that they will buy the product the influencer is selling to them.


You tend to earn money by selling your products if you’re a business. Some will have a link to their website, while others will use the Instagram shop feature to sell their products via the platform. Some influencer accounts may also sell merch depicting their logo, a meme they have created, etc., which can also be a great revenue source.

Affiliate Marketing

Another form of influencer marketing is the affiliate link. A person will post a link to a product, and they earn money each time there is a sale. Because of the nature of affiliate links, even micro-influencers can get brand deals this way.

Live Badges

Instagram is a social media platform where users can live stream. When they do, users can tip via live badges.

Paid Subscriptions

Finally, you can enable paid subscriptions if you’re over 18 and have 10k+ followers. Users can pay a premium to access exclusive posts. As long as you’re creating quality content, people will pay money to see exclusive posts from you.

How to Get More Followers on Your Instagram Account

Regarding Instagram marketing, your follower count can help you earn money. While not the end-all, the numbers do matter. The more eyes are on your brand, the more sales you can earn. Here are some ways you can gain followers on Instagram.

Figure Out Your Target Audience

Like any business, your Instagram profile should create content designed for a specific group of people. Your personal brand should have researched demographics already. However, on Instagram, your audience may be a little different.

One way to determine your audience is to research the people who like brands similar to yours or use hashtags your business frequently uses. Study what types of content they like, identify their pain points, and respond accordingly.

Post High-Quality Content of All Types

People will follow your account if they feel like your content resonates with them. Of course, what type of content your audience enjoys will ultimately depend on who they are. People will come as long as your content adds value, has a clear picture and audio quality, and is original.

Also, be sure you’re posting content that utilizes all of Instagram’s features. Post photos, videos, Stories, Reels, etc. Instagram’s algorithm will reward you by showing your content to more people.

Post at Least 3-5 Times a Week

Your Instagram account will see more traction if you post consistently. People may lose interest when you only post once in a blue moon, or the algorithm will demote you. Posting 3-5 times a week is the sweet spot for several reasons. It’s enough to keep your users engaged. However, it’s not enough to overwhelm them, and it’s not enough to cause burnout.

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Post When Your Audience is the Most Active

To increase your Instagram presence, you should post when your audience is the most active. This can vary depending on your audience. You may appeal to early risers or college students burning the midnight oil. Instagram’s Insights will tell you when your audience is the most active, and you can schedule your posts accordingly.

Engage With Your Followers

Whether you’re a business or an influencer, your audience will stick with you if they feel they’re being noticed. Like any comments your users make, answer questions, and engage with their content. You don’t need to like every single comment under the sun, but like enough to show your users that you are listening.

Have a Complete Instagram Bio

Your bio should be complete, with the right keywords, a description of what your business is about, relevant links, and a clear profile picture. When people visit your account, the bio should be a significant deciding factor in whether they will follow.

Use Hashtags

Hashtags are a significant part of Instagram, as you probably know. Each post you make should have around 3-5 hashtags. You don’t want to use too little, but you don’t want to slather your posts with them, either. Ideally, you want specific hashtags that don’t have too much competition but still have a following. One hashtag can be something broader if needed. You may want to add a hashtag specific to your brand, too.

Boost Instagram Followers By Running an Ads Campaign

Finally, you can run an ads campaign if you wish to grow on Instagram. Pay to boost a post that you feel would resonate with your audience. Be sure to put a reasonable amount of money into your ads campaign; don’t spend too much, but don’t go too little, either.

Getting Brand Deals and Sponsored Posts if You’re a Smaller Account

As we’ve already established, you don’t need a large follower count to get money on Instagram. However, a large follower count certainly helps. The bigger you are, the more likely brands will slide into your DMs with deals. However, if you have a smaller account, how can you make money on Instagram without appearing too desperate? Let’s find out.

Narrow Your Niche

If you wish to make money on Instagram as a small influencer, you should have a niche that lacks competition but still has interest. General niches are highly competitive, with many brands gravitating to bigger profiles. However, smaller niches may attract businesses that wish to work with micro accounts.

Take Advantage of Referrals

Have you worked with a brand in the past? Was the experience great? Then, reach out to the brand and ask them to refer you to other industries similar to theirs. Most brands would be happy to put a good word out if they know anyone.

Attend Conventions

As a small-time influencer, you may need to go IRL to get deals. There are many conventions where smaller brands may go to promote themselves. Talk to them if you can find a small brand at a convention. You may be able to strike up a business deal. Networking is always a great solution; doing it in real life can add an extra human element that makes striking deals much easier.

Reach Out to Smaller Brands

Unfortunately, if you are a smaller influencer, you may have to be the one to propose. Find smaller brands on social media that may be interested in a collaboration. Then, DM them.

When you DM them, immediately show your interest in a collaboration. Also, have a portfolio ready if you can prove that people have loved your work in the past and that you have loyal followers who would be interested in the product.

Also, talk about what type of collaboration you would want. Do you want to have a collab where you review the product? You don’t need to figure out every aspect immediately, but you should have a general idea.

If the business does not respond immediately, shoot them another message a week later. If they still aren’t answering, they may just not be interested. Instead, take your message and send it to another brand.

Don’t Settle for a Bad Deal

When you work with businesses as a small influencer, many will try to give you a bad deal. While you should not expect to make a ton of money, you should expect to make some.

First, avoid any brand that says they aren’t going to pay you at all. Many of them will claim that the collaboration can give you more exposure. But exposure does not pay the bills. Some influencers may settle for a free collaboration if they receive a free product. However, be sure that the product you receive means something to you.

How to Get Affiliate Marketing Links

If you want to get money on Instagram, you can look for affiliate programs to work with. Usually, you can Google your niche and find some affiliate programs that will want to work with you.

You can find three types of programs when you do your research. First, there’s the high-paying, low-volume affiliate. These are products that have fewer buyers, but they are well-paying. Often, this is because the product they offer is more niche or expensive.

There’s also the low-paying, high-volume affiliate program. These products, such as the latest video game, are in high demand. These links may not pay well, but because there are many buyers, you may gain some cash.

Finally, there are high-paying, high-volume links. These are products that sell well and pay well. However, if you’re a smaller influencer, you may have difficulties finding businesses like these that want to work with you.

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How Many Instagram Followers Do You Need to Make Money on Instagram? Conclusion

So, how many followers do you need to make money? The answer is that you can make money with any amount of followers. The more, the merrier, but you can make money if you have a specific niche and an engaged audience. You make money by selling your products, working with companies, having affiliate links, or through live stream tips.

While Instagram is a highly competitive platform, as long as you post great content and know how to cultivate an audience, you can find your place on the platform and make some good money.