Let us reveal a shocking truth: you don’t need many subscribers/followers to generate consistent income. With just a small count of 1K followers, your Instagram business can still thrive and grow!
So how to make money with 1K followers on Instagram, exactly? This article is crafted to give you the answers, delivering lesser-known tips that beginners tend to overlook.
How to Make Money With 1K Followers on Instagram?
1K followers are more than enough to yield money if you adopt these ten tips properly. Many Instagrammers you know have started their businesses with them!
Promote Digital Products
Having numerous income streams built around social media and blogging can increase your success possibilities. One such method is to sell digital products – which many Instagrammers count on to generate better income and financial longevity.
Examples are endless:
- Sell your course and classes on udemy
- Write detailed books about any topic you are interested in or good at
- Create webinars to show other people how to excel in a certain skill
Whatever your choice, use your Instagram platform for advertising it. Want to make video courses? Provide your Instagram fans with stories or video sneak peeks. Dying to try your hands on book writing? Offer teasers of some eBook pages or pictures. Include the digital product links in your profile, ensuring the caption in every post points your fans to them.
Have you just seen your all-time favorite Instagrammers tag other influencers or screenshot pictures from other people’s accounts? There are three possibilities:
- They genuinely love that brand or person, wanting to give it organic attention by shouting out.
- The shoutout was created as a part of paid sponsorships between your idols and that person/brand
- The Instagrammers sold shoutouts to the brand/person that needs some attention
Why can’t you do the same? Selling shoutouts on Instagram accounts is both effective and simple – you only need to tag the brand’s account, use special hashtags, and write encouraging/praising captions.
Manage Other Accounts on Instagram
Let’s say not much luck has come to you regarding your own account (or the opposite: you have thrived so wonderfully that the need to expand your reputation increases). In that case, let’s consider managing accounts for some other Instagrammers!
Unbeknown to some first-timers, social-media controls have become the most common freelancing gigs. As a manager, you will take over other people/businesses’ accounts to post hashtags, captions, and photos for them. Sometimes, the brand or individuals might want you to engage actively with their followers on their behalf, too – to grow their fanbase even further.
Another approach is to take original pictures for customers and brands upon their specific demands. After all, many brands/customers want beautiful photos for their feeds – yet are unwilling to outsource managers for now. That could be your chance!
Some photographers opt to sell photos on trustable stock photography websites.
A common assumption is that such options are only for professional photographers. Wrong; Instagrammers can also do that with their photos! One case in point is Daniel Arnold, a famous Instagrammer who offers photo prints for his fans and makes around $15K per day.
Though that number sounds a bit far-fetched for ordinary people, getting started at some of these websites would take you closer to success:
- Printful (they also turn your photos into gorgeous products, like mugs, t-shirts, and more)
Many experienced Instagram users make their accounts monetizable by affiliating with their favorite brands – which is no different than promoting affiliate product links on websites. Use that link to point to services/products and receive commissions whenever your fans purchase them via your links!
Again, these monetization methods require putting links in the bio. Many third-party applications can help you with that, such as Linktree. Do not forget to put those affiliate products on your Linkitree profiles, too!
One great suggestion is to post the products’ original photos to Instagram (instead of downloading pictures from the Internet). The best bet to earn your fans’ trust is to actually use those services and products – which can give your photos a more personal touch.
Of course, for those who cannot afford the products, you can always ask the brands for good photos to use. Nevertheless, that should be your last resort.
Participate in Instagram Influencer Program
Another great way to locate brands that want to cooperate with influencers and KOLs is via an influencer program – considered by many as their favorite method to reach out to brands.
The concept is straightforward: brands will contact you first rather than you seeking them out, contemplating whether you are suitable for their future campaigns. This convenient workaround can give you multiple opportunities to try new water with certain brands you might not have been familiar with before.
Brand campaigns have varied lengths – either quick, one-off projects or longer ones that can last a whopping year. During that period, they might ask you not to work with their rival brands; consider your choices carefully!
The managers/leaders will give you the entire project’s compensation quote – so that you don’t have to make blind guesses on how much money you can make. Some popular influencer programs that cover Instagram campaigns include:
Find Brands To Cooperate With
If influencer programs are not really your jams, ask yourself this question: how should you find those brands instead? What brands will most likely suit you?
When pitching your fav brands, it would be best to have at least one completed sponsorship to show them your marketing abilities. Hence, if you are one of those who just started their businesses with no sponsorship under the belts, consider which brands are influencer-friendly. Follow some of your fav influencers to see who they work with for now!
Setting up social media cards is also a great idea – through which brands can have a good overview of your portfolio, past projects, and preferences. From there, they will decide whether it’s worth giving you a try.
Direct Brand Sponsorships
After navigating this social media platform for a while, you will soon realize that the most widespread money-making strategies for experienced Instagrammers are via direct brand sponsorship. More specifically, they will work with a brand to advertise its services/products that match the Instagrammers’ own interests and brands.
Not just regular KOLs, even A-list celebrities are doing that every day (do you see all those singers and actors promoting FabFitFun boxes?). The more engaged their fans are, the more money they receive.
If no brands have found you, do not hesitate to reach out; surprises might await! There is no harm at all in offering yourself first.
Use Your Instagram Profile to Boost Sales for Your Online Stores
What most people love about Instagram is the stunning visual impact offered to your brands – terrific in this visual-prioritizing era. So if you have online stores to sell products, Instagram is the best network to upload incredible videos and photos of those products, whether on mere display or in action.
Consider your Instagram profile as extension branches of the brand and business. While e-websites – where you introduce the products – take charge of drawing sales, your Instagram profile focuses on more personal touches and stories instead to foster engagement between customers and the advertised product/service.
One major downside (which you probably could have already guessed) is that Instagram does not support website linking. You can only do so on the bio (hence the CTA “Links in my bio!” that you can see in many Instagram posts).
Again, turn to third-party applications for better and more diverse linking options, such as Linktree, which lets you upload unlimited links without constantly changing your bio or feeds.
Sell Your Successful Feeds
This last step will naturally arrive once you have gained traction with your account by increasing the follower count or gaining extremely engaged fans. Once you decide to rebrand or move on to other projects – meaning this account is no longer needed – it’s time to consider selling it away.
However, this method is way riskier than any other option introduced above – since rumors have it that Instagram’s creative team is strongly against it. Nevertheless, no legal codes clearly state that selling Instagram accounts is forbidden, so, yeah. Give it a try!
To avoid booting risks, spend time scouring through popular markets for selling/buying Instagram accounts. Cases in point are FameSwap and SocialTradia.
How to Keep Your Instagram Followers Engaged?
Even 100,000 followers are still unprofitable if your posts never show up on their feeds. It’s not an exaggeration to claim that engagement rate is the key to your business’s survival – even more so than the follower counts!
Follow our tips below to ensure your photos and videos always receive impressive likes, views, and shares:
Create Relevant Hashtags
Hashtags are one of the most common reach tactics you can exploit on Instagram. Greater reaches naturally lead to better engagement levels. Social studies have shown that, on average, posts with around 30 hashtags enjoy the best engagement rates.
So we strongly encourage you to always include as many hashtags as possible in a post. But that does not mean you should turn random, irrelevant phrases into hashtags; they must tap into the niche topics resonating with your captions and content.
Tips: For those struggling to think of great hashtags, use popular hashtag tools (ex: Hashtag suggestions) to navigate your decisions faster.
Post When The Audiences Are Most Engaged
Your engagement will reach new heights if the posts arrive when your audiences feel the most engaged.
Researchers who analyzed more than 11 million Instagram posts have concluded that 4 p.m. is usually the most appropriate time. Nevertheless, not every audience base has the same behavior patterns. How can you know what the most suitable answer is?
Thanks to high-performance apps like “Best Timing to Post,” you can automatically calculate the most profitable timing based on your highest-performing posts in recent months.
The results will get highlighted in the apps’ weekly content calendars, making it super easy to schedule future posts. Even novices can easily capitalize on their fan engagement without further hassles.
Engage With Followers Via Story Stickers
Do not underestimate these seemingly ordinary stickers; they should be your first step in fostering a loyal fanbase that connects tightly with the brands.
On Instagram stories, there are numerous easy and quick stickers for free usage – such as quizzes, polls, and questions. The latter (questions) undoubtedly perform the best in drawing insane engagement, allowing you to converse directly with the flowers and prompting them to pose questions.
Experts suggest using it to host AMA (or Ask Me Anything) sections, where you can collect the most burning questions and hop to the Instagram stories to respond to each. Every time a fan interacts with the sticker, that’s counted as an engagement! Tap on one sticker now to see the amazing results it will bring about.
Inspire Everyone With “Add Yours” Stickers
Thanks to the invention of Instagram’s “Add Yours” sticker, creating viral challenges among audiences is no longer headache-inducing. From sharing memorable childhood pictures to summer highlights, “Add Yours” are the best tickets to achieve engagement success.
Suppose you work in a skincare corporation; let’s ask your fans to discuss their morning routines. Or are you a photographer? Then tell the audience to upload their most beautiful photos.
Limitless opportunities are on the horizon with these trendy stickers – using just one sticker can bring hundreds of accounts to your profile if you know how to do it right. Talk about a perfect engagement score!
Collab On The Instagram Reels
As if the above options haven’t been terrific enough, the Instagram Collabs feature enters the scene to make it even easier for Instagrammers hungry for engagement!
This function enables users to invite others for future collaboration on Reel or Feed posts, sharing your content with their followers and vice versa. More specifically, you may co-author the content with one fellow Instagrammer, and this post will pop up on both profiles.
That way, it’s easy to share comments, likes, and views, giving you better leverage and connection with more community members.
Host Enticing Giveaways
Who doesn’t love free stuff? Only fools!
Hence, including giveaways in your marketing strategy totally makes sense. Nevertheless, remember that giveaways are not just about giving anything to anyone!
It’s 2023 already; brands’ giveaways must be intentional, attractive to your current and target demographics, and reflect the brand’s value. Whether that’s an experience, service, or product, ensure only the good prizes are used to rack up crazy engagement.
Tips: Tags/follows/shares are straightforward ways to gain millions of engagements, even with one single post.
Let Your Personal Trademarks Shine Through The Stories
Brands are not always meant to be abstract and impersonal – a lesson many still haven’t recognized. Indeed, letting your uniqueness stand out is one of the best strategies to set you apart from rivals.
Stories can be a perfect platform for informal, chatty interactions – share personal anecdotes, show your real face, and ask questions. Outstanding examples are influencers and podcasters, who often jump on Stories to converse with their communities. Beauty labels are another case in point, showing up on their stories to share BTS content and tips.
If you are afraid that showing your face seems “unprofessional,” don’t be. Everyone needs to realize that you are not just a soulless logo.
Include CTA In Every Caption
Despite experts and professionals thinking of thousands of new engagement-driven tactics, CTA (or Call to Action) continues to withstand time. Including CTAs (direct questions and beckons aimed at your readers, to be more specific) certainly draw more engagement than plain, impersonal captions.
And try to be as creative as possible with those CTAs, too. Ask for further advice, recommendations (books, vacation spots, restaurants), or topic types they want from you.
Another great way of driving engagement via CTAs is to encourage your fans to click links in the Instagram bios. Once again, turn to third-party apps like Later or Linktree – since the current Instagram features do not support links in bio yet. Your account feed will be more accessible and clickable, boosting engagement.
Share Valuable Info in Your Carousel Posts
If you still haven’t known it yet, carousel posts have been regarded as the number-1 gold mine, allowing users to share 10 clips, text graphics, and photos (maximum) in one single post with their followers.
As they pop up in your audience’s feeds at least twice, these posts double (even triple) opportunities for shares, comments, and likes!
Whether you want to share social issues or educational content, these slides are more than enough to cover all you need to say. What a deal!
Make Shareable Graphics
Repurposed tweets, graphics, and quotes are thriving everywhere – perfect for engagement increase.
It’s not difficult to realize that Instagram people love sharing quotes, especially those that are both moving and visually pleasing. One widespread trend among brands is repurposing such tweets into feed posts, which raises the likes and shares like crazy!
So what do you need to do? Simply screenshot any tweet and plater it on a beautiful background with editing apps (ex: PicsArt). You don’t even have to be a designer to master this.
How to Increase Your Instagram Followers To More Than 1000
If 1K followers are already enough to guarantee consistent and generous income, imagine how things will turn out even better with 2K, 3K, or even 100K followers! Turn to these tips to increase your fanbase within weeks.
Optimize Your Instagram Bio
The character limit for every Instagram bio is 150 characters: make use of them!
Within 150 characters, tell your followers (both current and potential ones) what values you present, which services you will bring to the table, and things you hope every follower can achieve after they drop by your profile.
In essence, a perfect bio must include the following:
- Clear descriptions of what your brands do
- Your personality touches
- A CTA (contact us, read more, buy now, etc.)
As you must have known by now, the in-bio links are the only clickable Instagram links if you do not turn to third-party applications. Use them wisely!
Some businesses always feature standard website links, while others frequently change their bio links to match the latest posts. For those that wish to turn one link into several link catalogs, link-in-biography tools like Start Page are there to help.
And, of course, how can we forget hashtags? Consider including branded hashtags, too. For instance, Buffer encourages its fans to type #BufferLove whenever they discuss the brand’s products on social media.
We suggest adding this branded hashtag to our bio, instructing people on the right hashtag to include if they want to catch your attention. Not to mention, when anyone clicks those hashtags, they can see thousands of related posts from other like-minded people.
Recent studies of 15 industries reveal that, on average, most businesses upload about four posts every week.
But experts suggest a daily basis (at least one post daily) if you want to achieve success faster. Indeed, brands with regular post flow see much better results than those who post spontaneously – a conclusion consistent with Tailwind’s studies in 2021.
As Instagram keeps changing how posts are arranged on users’ feeds, consistency is important to ensure your content is always seen. If people engage and share your posts frequently, the Instagram system will likely push them to the very top of user feeds.
Scheduling daily posts is no longer an issue with many applications and software designed for that purpose. Scour the app store to discover the best scheduling tools (both paid and free!)
But, quantity is still not as crucial as the quality, so posting often does not always equate to improved engagement rates. You must also learn to create content that resonates wonderfully with every target audience – an issue discussed in the above sections about engagement tips.
Study Instagram Algorithm
At first, thousands of brands panicked at Instagram’s sudden switch from chronological feeds to ranked timelines. Nevertheless, after this change, an average post reportedly has 50% more visibility than before. Thus, instead of learning to beat this algorithm, how about you try using it to your benefit?
So far, 6 major variables decide which content appears on the timeline. Let’s see their quick rundown!
- Interest: How much does this person like a particular post? (Instagram will analyze this question depending on that user’s previous activities)
- Timeliness: Is the post recent?
- Relationship: What are accounts that this person interacts with regularly?
- Frequency: Does this person use Instagram frequently? How often?
- Following: Posts from accounts this person follows should appear on the timeline first.
- Usage: How many hours/minutes does he spend on Instagram?
These questions are raised to help Instagram surface the most suitable content for every user. We know that the six factors can seem overwhelming, but really, all you need to do is create great content consistently.
Guidance on how every factor works is publicly uploaded on the Internet. Study them carefully to turn the Instagram algorithm into a trusted ally!
Experiment With Diverse Content Categories
Though starting as an app for photo-loving users, Instagram is no longer just a photo platform. Over the decades, this app has brought about numerous ways for content-sharing.
Mixing your profile with different content is among the strongest methods to gain more Instagram followers, as it gives you more chances to connect and reach wider ranges of audiences.
As mentioned above, the algorithm observes users’ interests to show them the content they are more likely to interact with. One example: if a woman likes/comments on Reels more than other types of posts, she will see more Instagram Reels on her feed than Stories or Carousel posts.
Likewise, another user sharing Carousel posts frequently will see fewer Instagram Reels. Can you see why we suggest trying as many post types as possible now?
Furthermore, each content type has its own advantages:
- Instagram Reels. They are the newest features introduced to the platform – and Instagram has always pushed new features. Since their 2020 launch, these Reels buttons have been moved to the middle position on the menu bears, which means their appearance in the Explore section is even larger than picture posts.
Considering more than 200,000,000 people check the Explore section every day, this extra visual effect can bring major differences to your Instagram reach.
- IGTV (Instagram TV). Likewise, these videos also pop up four times larger than standard pictures in the Explore section. Due to their generous limits (up to 1 hour), they are great for long-form videos.
- Instagram Stories. Although they vanish after twenty-four hours, their benefits are still palpable. In surveys about the effects of Instagram stories, 57% of brands claim they are “quite effective” or “extremely effective” – all the more reason to include Stories in your Instagram marketing strategy.
Also, for verified accounts (or those with 10,000 followers onwards), you may add Swipe Up website links to your stories, driving more traffic to a particular page.
- Carousel Posts. By including 10 videos/images in one single post, Carousel content enjoys the best engagement levels out of all these options.
You can regard them as a teaser to longer-form content (like blogs) or mini-stories. Feel free to use videos, photos, images, or a combination of them in your thematic posts!
We totally understand if first-timers feel perplexed about what post type is the best, but remember: everyone has their own taste. So while studies might reveal different results regarding the most popular content among Instagram users, we suggest trying all of them.
Find The Brand’s Voice to Create Unique, Distinctive Content
People do not follow an account to see impersonal, blatant sales pitches. What they expect is your great content – and a dash of your personality, too – in every post.
That’s why what suits one business may not work well with yours – even if both of you are in the same industry. Let’s take Such Farm and Juggling Daisies Farm as an example: while Juggling Daisies prioritize cute photos, wholesome content, and fun stories, Such Farm has rougher edges with dark humor and curse words.
So prepare your answers to the following questions:
- Which style do you want to adopt? Cynical? Playful? Informative? Or funny?
- Which topics should you address in your posts?
Everything uploaded on your account should display the brand’s beliefs, personalities, and deepest passion. For illustration, Such Farm believes in sustainable growing methods, which prompts them to promote these farming practices often in most of their posts.
Always refer to your account as a human, and design his personality and guidelines to keep the account uniform and consistent. These guidelines must include values, styles, tones, fonts, colors, etc.
Write Amazing Captions
Beautiful pictures catch people’s eyes, but great captions make them stay!
Captions open up to for better details/context about a particular video or photo. Plus, using the right keywords with high search volume in those captions will help your content appear more frequently in the search results.
So far, the character limit for Instagram captions is 2200. Of course, not all captions must be as long as a blog article. Do not hesitate to play with diverse lengths!
Certain photos work well with quippy, short captions and one or two emojis. Meanwhile, others benefit from more reflective and insightful descriptions. A study in 2020 shows that the average caption length is about 405 characters; use that as an anchor to adjust your posts!
Like content types introduced above, there are no fixed rules regarding captions; mix everything up and experiment with all options to ensure a wider reach. After all, with one quick scan through the feeds, you can see many high-engagement posts with long, medium, and short captions alike; it’s simply impossible to generalize which is the best overall.
Link To The Instagram Profile from Somewhere Else
Facilitate people to find your account more easily. Please do not force them to skim through hundreds of website pages just to find your Instagram account!
You can add your account links to the following:
- Social media articles from other team members
- The biography section on the other social platforms
- Your website’s sidebar and/or footer
- Email footers
Analyze Monthly Results
A straightforward way to increase your Instagram follower count is to investigate what content your current fans likely respond to. You can observe the feeds’ metrics with Instagram Insights or count on popular analytics tools (ex: Buffer).
Do not overanalyze vanity metrics like comments or likes. Instead, ask yourself which measurements hold more weight than others under specific circumstances.
Suppose you are experimenting with new hashtags; then metrics like reach and new followers will reveal more about the hashtag values than current shares and likes from your existing followers. But if you want to test various posting times, look at the impressions numbers to conclude when your posts have the best visibility.
In short, different end goals decide which metrics are the most important.
Lastly, do not forget to watch out for trends and patterns.
Does a certain image type get more engagement or impressions? Then post more images like that and observe how viewers respond. Or do some hashtags bring in more likes and followers? Keep applying such hashtags to your future posts and see whether new fans keep coming.
Is It Possible to Run Businesses With Only 500 Followers?
Yes. Though we cannot deny that the struggle might be much more intense here, that doesn’t mean making money with less than 1000 followers is out of reach.
Not to mention, Instagram’s new feature, “Shopping from Creator” (for Instagram online stores and shops), also specifies that any account with at least 500 followers is qualified to participate. Therefore, do not worry if you haven’t reached the 1K benchmark yet!
Nevertheless, there is one rule: to be marked as authentic for “Shopping from Creator,” you must have a 5 to 10% engagement percentage per post. So for 500 followers, there must be at least 26-30 interactions per post on average.
Sounds a bit tiresome, isn’t it? No worries; aside from the detailed guidelines above, keep in mind these quick tips for fostering better follower interaction:
- Safe Content. Never upload content with sexually suggestive, controversial, or offensive content. NSFW posts are just out of the question.
- Stick to One Niche Only. We know you are impatient and cannot wait to expand your account reputation. But do not be greedy. Choose one – and just one – niche you feel most passionate about, then create content solely about that field.
But that doesn’t mean you should narrow yourself into topics too small (like Workout tips or Yoga). Something a bit bigger, like “Wellness and Health,” is much more ideal, letting you cover a broader range of sponsorship opportunities.
- Join Contests As Much As Possible During These Earlier Stages. When a brand sees your collaboration with other Instagrammers/brands, your profile will receive better credibility and more exposure to new followers.
Sure, the money earned after these contests might not be much, but these golden chances to join hands and cooperate with brands of all levels can support quicker profile growth for you. Trust us; you will not regret the time and effort spent on them.
Can You Buy/Hack Followers for Your Instagram Accounts?
Technically, you CAN – thanks to fake bots and automatic follow4follow software. But that doesn’t mean you should.
Fake Followers Hurt Your Brand’s Credibility Badly
In some rarer cases, having many followers might convince real users to click that “Follow” button. That’s not always a guarantee, though.
After all, bots and inactive accounts never like, comment, or share your posts. Once someone realizes your account is filled to the brim with fake followers, your credibility will get ruined in the eyes of the real audience.
Not to mention, if users see that your engagement rate per post is low, chances that they will follow the brand are not unlikely. Suppose you have 100,000 followers, but only 10 likes a post; even a fool can see something fishy is at play.
Bought Followers May Distort Performance Metrics
Calculating how your fans connect to the brand will be impossible if a huge part of that fanbase isn’t even real. The bots/fake accounts have skewed and messed up the ratio, meaning there’s no way to learn which posts resonate with the audience and which do not.
Your brands can never convert those followers into actual customers, ruining the whole point of your brand marketing strategies. Plus, since the platform algorithm ties largely to engagement – rather than the number of followers – fake fans are clearly not the right solution in the long run.
(Actually, we cannot even call it a “solution” in the first place!)
Our article has explored numerous smart tricks on how to make money with 1K followers on Instagram. And if that much money can still not satisfy you, there are ways to increase your loyal fanbase to much more than a mere 1K. Note those tips to ensure your Instagram business is always developing and growing!
Do not feel discouraged if immediate results do not come; success requires patience. Always keep close contact with readers, post interesting and relevant content at the right time, and use appropriate hashtags. Soon, the day you can taste the sweet fruits of victory will arrive!