Making money from Instagram as a micro-influencer

Being a micro-influencer on Instagram is a straight forward income stream, ranging from pocket money amounts all the way through to full-time bill-payers. The concept is simple – brands pay, generally through agencies, for you to post a photo or video as a line of marketing, encouraging your audience to engage with their product or service. It’s commonly recognised by major, social media savvy brands, that using the services of influencers and micro-influencers can have major positive effects including the following: –

 Increased brand awareness

 Growth in followers

Well driven sales


And it’s all down to this: –

When people follow people, they tend to do so because they trust them, respect them, like them, or have some other positive, synonymous feeling towards them. As such, when that person tells their following that they trust a brand, a product, a service, or anything for that matter, their audience will receive it very well. It’s as if it’s a personal, authentic recommendation coming from a friend. Combine this with the fact that engagement on Instagram (at an average of 3%) is double that average across other social media platforms and you’ve got a pre-made marketing platform sitting, waiting.

So, now we know the bones behind it, what’s in it for us as photographers? How can we jump on the ‘influencer’ train? Well to start off, we need the stats. Here’s an approximated checklist of what you need to pass screening by most agencies: –

Substantial following, perhaps 1k plus, perhaps 10k plus

A theme, such as travel, cars, food, beauty etc

Decent engagement (to prove you’re real!)

When you pass the screening and get onto the books for an agency you can start receiving briefs for campaigns and getting your income flowing. But who are the agencies? Well that’s easy – just search influencer agencies online and you’ll find loads! Takumi, Tribe, all the big names will pop up, and you can start to get yourself registered for work through them. Campaigns will range from £30 to £100 generally for micro-influencer posts, but this is big business overall and it’s reported that £700,000 is Kylie Jenner’s asking price per post.

This classy and well composed screenshot from my phone shows the reality – at the time I was looking at 6% engagement from a following of c. 18k based largely in the UK and USA. The £65 price tag for taking a photo of a burger was pretty worth it – at the end of the day, I needed to eat anyway! Thing is, once you’re set up and get into the swing of things, there’s quite a bit of pocket money to be had from micro-influencing. It could even progress into a full time career!

If you want to see influencers in action, just search the hashtag #ad on Instagram and see what’s popping up – it’s the industry standard hashtag to tell Instagram it’s a paid post, and to simultaneously be transparent to followers.

Hopefully this has been of interest to those of you who want to make some money on Instagram!

Much love


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