With a few thousand followers on Instagram these days, it's easy to ask yourself: When can I start making money doing this?The good news is, there's no strict minimum. Five influencers Insider interviewed — all with under 6,000 Instagram followers — said they got paid by brands to post to their small audiences.For instance, Tess Barclay, a Toronto-based nano influencer who creates lifestyle content, started earning money with a few thousand Instagram followers in 2021. She makes money by working with brands and charges upwards of $154 for an in-feed Instagram post, she told Insider in May."I always thought you needed a million followers, or a hundred thousand followers, to make money on social media," Barclay told Insider. "But that's really not true.
There are so many ways that you can make it a business, even if it is part-time."Meanwhile, may other influencers start making money by earning a commission from sales via affiliate marketing. Check out: 7 top brands that work with micro influencers on Instagram, TikTok, and moreInstagram is also directly paying some influencers through incentive programs like "Bonuses" for Reels. Some Instagram monetization features like "Badges," Instagram's tipping tool for IG Live, require that creators have at least 10,000 followers. Many of these programs also are limited to certain countries, have an age minimum of 18, and require accounts to be registered as business or creator accounts on the app. While the doors have opened for many more creators on Instagram to start making a living, often they don't start making full-time incomes immediately (although a fair number of micro influencers with under 100,000 followers work full-time as influencers). Read more: 19 content creators share how they turned their social-media side hustles into full-time jobsToday, Instagram influencers no longer need hundreds of thousands of followers to start earning cash.Here are a few reasons why:"Nano" and "micro" influencers (typically accounts with fewer than 100,000 followers) are being hired by many brands across industries.
These smaller influencers have demonstrated the power of niche and engaged communities on Instagram, where fake followers and disproportional engagement have flooded the platform. Influencers can earn hundreds to thousands of dollars from these deals. Meta-owned Instagram is opening its multibillion-dollar wallet and paying some influencers, which it announced last year with a flashy $1 billion investment into content creators through 2022. The platform also introduced a creator-brand marketplace for sponsorships in 2022.Affiliate links are easier than ever to share now that Instagram widely rolled out the link sticker in 2021.
Some affiliate programs do have their own requirements, however, such as LTK or ShopStyle.So, how much money are these influencers making on Instagram?Insider interviewed over two dozen Instagrammers about how much money they make, with follower counts between 2,000 and just over 100,000. Here's a full breakdown of our coverage:From brand deals:Natasha Greene, a food and lifestyle creator with 137,000 Instagram followersJehava Brown, a travel and lifestyle influencer with 70,000 followersKara Harms, a full-time lifestyle blogger and influencer with 77,000 Instagram followersJon Seaton, a college football star and creator with 58,000 Instagram followersTomi Obebe, a lifestyle influencer with 40,000 followersEmma Cortes, a lifestyle influencer and podcast host with 47,000 followersAisha Beau Frisbey, a lifestyle creator with 34,000 followersManasi Arya, a Gen-Z artist with 19,000 followersAlexa Curtis, a lifestyle influencer and entrepreneur with 20,000 followersMary Margaret Boudreaux, a fashion and lifestyle influencer with 20,000 followersReni Odetoyinbo, a personal-finance and lifestyle creator with 14,000 followersGigi Kovach, a part-time lifestyle blogger and mom of two with 13,500 followersTejas Hullur, a personal-finance creator and entrepreneur with 12,000 followersTyler Chanel, a sustainability influencer with 12,000 followersJour'dan Haynes, a lifestyle creator with 5,900 Instagram followersTess Barclay, a lifestyle blogger with 5,600 followersLaur DeMartino, a nano influencer and full-time college student with 5,200 followersJalyn Baiden, a skincare influencer with 4,000 followersJen Lauren, a part-time lifestyle influencer with 2,900 followersKayla Compton, a lifestyle nano influencer with about 2,000 Instagram followersRead more: Instagram is shutting down its native affiliate-marketing program after more than a year of testing Influencers Instagram Creators