How to Make Money On Instagram Without Followers: 9 Effective Strategies
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If you've just set up your Instagram account, don't wait months to start implementing monetization methods. You can start today and learn about how to make money on Instagram without followers!
Instagram is one of the top social media platforms, that started its life as a photo and video-sharing app.
And today, it's evolved into a place where brands drive huge amounts of traffic to their products, and influencers make thousands for each post they share.
Whether you're an aspiring influencer, business owner, or just an average person looking for a new money-making side hustle, this article is going to show you multiple ways to start earning with zero or minimal followers.
In this post, we'll explain:
- How to make money on Instagram without followers
- The steps to take to get started with each method
- Any specific requirements
Let's dive in!
- How to Make Money On Instagram Without Followers
- Set Up an Instagram Shop
- Instagram Account Management Services
- Buy Inactive Accounts and Flip for Profit
- Run Instagram Contests or Giveaways
- Sell Products Through Instagram Adverts
- Partner with Instagram Influencers
- Become an Affiliate Marketer
- Create UGC Content for Brands
- Build Your Instagram Followers and Become a Micro-Influencer
- Tips for How to Make Money on Instagram Without Followers
- Conclusion: How to Make Money on Instagram Without Followers
How to Make Money On Instagram Without Followers
Most people wait around till they have thousands of followers to make money with their Instagram account.
Well, I'm going to show you how to get ahead of the pack and start making money even if you have zero followers.
Just be sure to continue growing your follower count by creating engaging Instagram threads and content so that you can make even more money in the future!
Set Up an Instagram Shop
Instagram shops are a place where creators can sell their products directly and accept payments in the app.
There is no minimum follower requirement to set up a shop - so you can get started with no followers!
You can upload a catalog of products to sell by using Facebook's catalog manager or connecting to a third-party eCommerce platform.
While it might be hard initially to get sales without followers, you could create an affiliate program for your products and ask influencers with larger followings to promote your products in return for a cut of each sale.
Follow these simple steps to set up your Instagram shop:
- Click on the Shop Tab
- Create a Facebook business page if you don't have one
- Upload a product catalog to your shop
- Submit your Instagram shop for a review
- When approved, turn on shopping for your Instagram account
- Create posts and stories and add tags that take Instagram users directly to products
Be aware that it can take between a few days and a few weeks to be approved for product tagging, and your shop must be based in an eligible country for shopping on Instagram.
Instagram Account Management Services
With over 2 billion monthly active users, it's no wonder businesses and brands flock to the platform to promote their products and services.
And while many companies know the benefit of using it, they often don't have time to spend on the platform themselves.
This is where you can step in and provide Instagram account management services for relevant brands. You could also offer Instagram profile creation and Instagram bio writing and editing services.
Follow these steps to get paid as an Instagram account manager:
- Get educated. Read articles, watch YouTube tutorials, and take an online course on e-learning platforms such as Udemy and Skillshare.
- Work on your personal Instagram account. A prospective employer will check out your Instagram profile, so spend the time to grow it organically.
- Build a portfolio. In the beginning, get experience by offering to complete Instagram projects for free or in exchange for testimonials.
- Choose a specialized niche. It helps if you establish yourself as an expert in one area, such as fashion, beauty, or Instagram marketing for example.
- Promote your services. Use LinkedIn and your social media accounts to let people know you offer Instagram account management.
- Apply for Instagram management jobs. Now you're ready to make money, you can apply for Instagram manager jobs on sites like FlexJobs.
Buy Inactive Accounts and Flip for Profit
You may have heard about flipping websites, where you buy a site, make it better, and sell it on for profit.
But did you know the same principles can be applied to make money on Instagram?
The process goes like this:
- Find an inactive account with a decent amount of followers
- This can be done by checking if the last post was months or years ago
- An inactive account may point to the owner having lost interest (you can also check out our guide on how to find and unfollow inactive IG accounts to find opportunities)
- Make a list of 10 - 20 accounts like this
- Direct message the account owners and offer to buy the accounts
- A rate rule of thumb is to offer $10 for every thousand followers, but you can start lower and negotiate
Do be aware that this method comes with risk. Do all you can to protect yourself from being scammed by doing your research about the account owner and using a payment platform like Escrow that holds a payment during the sale of an asset.
Run Instagram Contests or Giveaways
If your Instagram page is new, running contests and giveaways is one of the best ways to increase engagement and get more followers.
In fact, a study conducted by Tailwind found that Instagram contests can help grow your followers by up to 70% faster over 3 months!
Plus, you could even make money on Instagram by driving people from the giveaway onto your email list so that you can promote your products and services to them.
Not got an email list? Learn how to grow an email list and make money from subscribers with Matt Molen.
Host a giveaway by doing this:
- Determine your goals
- Decide on a giveaway prize
- Set the giveaway criteria, e.g.: age, closing date, how many tags or shares entries must make
- Promote your giveaway in Instagram posts, Instagram stories and Instagram reels
If you have the budget, you can further your reach and get even more sign-ups for your giveaway using Instagram ads.
Sell Products Through Instagram Adverts
To make money on Instagram without followers, you could run Instagram ads to help sell your services, or digital or physical goods from your online store.
There are two methods for Instagram ads:
- Use Instagram Boost. This method is a simple way to promote an existing Instagram post that's already doing well. Just click ''Boost Post'' and follow the steps to turn it into an ad. You will need an Instagram business or creator account and a Facebook business page to use this option.
- Use Meta Ads Manager. Here, you can create a new Instagram ad campaign in Meta Ads Manager. Just select your objective, type of campaign, audience, budget, schedule, and ad placement.
For a little inspiration, take a look at how Jane from the Boutique Marketplace generated $234,000 in sales from her advertising campaigns run in November and December 2021.
Partner with Instagram Influencers
If you haven't had time to build your followers yet, don't worry, as there are plenty of Instagram influencers who have massive followings and brilliant engagement levels.
You can take advantage of their follower count by reaching out and asking them to create sponsored content for you, promoting your products or services.
A few places to find influencers include:
Make sure to check out the type of content an influencer posts to see if it aligns with your brand and ethos.
Once you find an Instagram influencer you want to work with, offer to pay them compensation or free gifts for promoting products.
Become an Affiliate Marketer
It's not easy, but it is possible to make money through affiliate marketing, even with no money upfront and very few Instagram followers.
Some startups and small brands will work with creators and influencers that have low follower counts, and you can earn money from clicks and giving away promo codes.
Be sure to check if there's a minimum follower count required for affiliates before applying to an affiliate program.
Take a look at these ideas to start affiliate marketing on Instagram without followers:
- Create video product reviews or '''How-Tos'' and link to the affiliate product
- Run paid Instagram ad campaigns and drive traffic to your unique affiliate link
- Give away a lead magnet such as an eBook and link to an affiliate program inside
You will need to double your effort to make any money affiliate marketing with no followers. Always spend time increasing your follower count, and once you have 500+, you'll find it much easier to get brands to take you seriously as an affiliate.
Create UGC Content for Brands
UGC content, or user-generated content, is original, brand-specific content created by a customer and published on a social media platform like Instagram.
This content can be created in many forms, such as:
And because this UGC content is posted on the brand account, not yours, it doesn't matter if you have zero Instagram followers.
Take a look at the average UGC creator fees for brand videos on different platforms:
- Instagram. $500 - $5,000.
- Twitter. $200 - $2,000.
- Facebook. $500 - $2,000.
- Tik Tok. $500 - $5,000.
Read this list of the top UGC platforms to find paid opportunities.
Build Your Instagram Followers and Become a Micro-Influencer
Micro-influencers generally have between 1,000 and 10,000 Instagram followers and, according to research, make up to 91% of all sponsored content engagements.
This is because, even though they have smaller audiences than mega influencers, their audiences are more engaged, which drives a better ROI for brands.
So, it's worth taking the time to grow your Instagram audience to 1,000+ engaged followers because companies want to work with you!
A few ways for micro-influencers to make money include:
- Sponsored posts
- Brand partnerships
- Being a brand ambassador
- Enable live badges (10K+ followers)
- Selling your own branded merch
- Offering paid tutorials
Read about the simple steps to help you become a successful Instagram influencer.
Tips for How to Make Money on Instagram Without Followers
Here are a few tips to make sure you establish your account correctly so you have the best chance of making money right from the start.
Create a Beautiful Instagram Page
Even if you have zero Instagram followers, people will check out your profile and post feed.
If you want people to trust you and buy from you, it's essential to have a beautiful and interesting Instagram account.
Learn more about how to start a blog on Instagram that gets clicks and engagement.
Post Pictures that Relate to Your Target Audience
Instagram is a visual storytelling platform and it's important to think about who might be viewing your content before you post.
Choose a niche, such as beauty, fashion, or travel, and post pictures and videos that align with your personal brand.
Read about how to create a collage on Instagram stories that really stands out.
Leverage Direct Messaging
If you want to make money on Instagram, it helps if you show you're human and talk to people in the DMs.
If someone likes your content, reach out and say thanks! Going that extra mile can often open up new opportunities and potential collaborations!
Do More Than Just Promote - Inform
People don't want to be sold to.
Try to do more than just promote a product or service - inform your audience with helpful tips or simply encourage a discussion.
Have a Consistent Post Schedule
To boost your followers and monthly earnings, you need to post Instagram content consistently.
According to industry experts, the best Instagram post schedule for growth is:
- 3-5 posts a week with a mix of carousels, reels, and static posts
- 2+ Instagram stories a day (check out the best Instagram story dimensions here)
A frequent Instagram post schedule increases your chances of showing up in search results and getting featured by other accounts, which will help you earn more money.
Conclusion: How to Make Money on Instagram Without Followers
Learning how to make money on Instagram without followers is simple for anyone, even with minimal experience using the platform.
With Instagram's huge daily traffic flow, you can be assured there are people ready to buy a variety of products and services in all different niches.
Have a read through all the monetization methods mentioned to see which you think aligns with your skills and passions.
And remember, you can pursue more than one to boost your monthly income!
Want help scheduling Instagram posts?
Take a look at the best AI Instagram post generators for savvy entrepreneurs.
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