Popularity has always been sought after by many, but in 2021, it pays to be popular.
It’s no wonder we all wish we already had a side hustle on Instagram, considering you could be making $200 every time you post (if you have enough of a following, that is).
And if you’re less interested in getting paid to post, an Instagram account can still help you boost sales for your small business (whether it exists already or not).
So, if you really want to learn how to start a side hustle on Insta, read on.
3 Things To Know About Starting a Side Hustle on Instagram
Before we jump in, there are three basic things we should cover.
Anyone can start a side hustle on Instagram, including you
First, know that it is 100% possible. The only thing that can prevent your success is your own doubt.
Whether you already have a small business, want to start one, or just want to start earning money from Instagram already, establishing a successful side hustle is a reality.
In short, you can do it—as long as you don’t give up.
It’s called a hustle for a reason
We all want to know how to make money online, but not everyone is prepared for the answer.
The fact is that it isn’t always easy. It takes time and energy because, at the end of the day, an Instagram side hustle is still work.
Keep that in mind, commit to the work, and you will be able to earn money from home.
Even influencers offer something to their followers
Every successful account offers something valuable to its audience.
Some businesses on Instagram offer something straightforward and specific, like products or services. Other Instagram side hustlers earn money off of their accounts without selling anything to their followers.
When you know what you’re doing, you can monetize your social media accounts without ever actually selling anything.
But whether it’s inspiration, information, or a real-world product, you need to offer something of value to your followers—and we’ll cover exactly how to do just that.
Baby Steps: Create Your Instagram Account (or Refine It)
Before you can run, you’ve got to learn how to walk. Here are the first few steps you’ll need to take to get your account up and running.
Build Your Brand
Whatever your side hustle on Instagram is, you need to create a solid brand. That means knowing:
- who you are,
- what you’re selling, and
- who you’re selling to
You need to create a cohesive identity that your name, logo, image, voice, and “product” fall under—even if that product isn’t a product at all. It might be the idea of a particular lifestyle (like Annette White) or an inspirational message (like Alex Elle).
When you build a trustworthy brand, people will follow your account, like your posts, and know your name.
Branding is a whole career, so instead of coaching you on how to do it, here’s a quick overview of some essential branding topics you should get familiar with:
- target audience
- creative logo
- style guide
- color scheme
- visual branding
- brand voice
Create an Instagram Business Account
Next, make sure your account is an Instagram business account. These give you access to analytics and features that regular accounts don’t have. And they’re free.
If you have a regular account, you don’t need to create a whole new one. Converting your personal profile to a business account is easy.
After you’ve created an account, follow these three basic rules:
- use a professional profile picture
- write a specific, concise description/bio
- add a call-to-action to your bio
How to Post on Instagram
Once you set up your Insta account, you’re ready to create content. It isn’t as easy as 1, 2, 3, but we can break it down.
First, offer to your clients. Every post should give them something, and more often than not, that something is:
Give the people what they want, and you’ll gain a following.
Use Eye-Catching Photos and Animations
When users scroll through social media, they might take less than half a second to assess whether your post is worthy of their time or not.
Users are more likely to stick around if you use high-quality photos, pleasing colors, or moving images.
Post Frequently and Consistently
A dead account doesn’t gain any followers. You need to post frequently (think 2-3 times a week at least).
You should also keep your content consistent—if you grow a thriving plant care account, don’t post about sneaker brands. Use common sense, and don’t spam your followers.
Ask, and you shall receive. In your descriptions, tell your followers what to do. If you want a successful side hustle on Instagram, you’re going to have to get a little bossy.
Here are some prompts you can use:
- Click here to…
- Drop a comment…
- See the link in my bio…
- Comment your favorite…
- Comment “winner” to enter the contest…
- Comment “sweet” to receive something special!
- Buy yours…
- Get your own…
You get the idea. Now it’s your turn to try. (See what we did there?)
Boost Engagement by Replying to Comments
The Instagram algorithm makes popular posts more popular. Naturally, posts with more comments are more likely to show up on someone’s feed.
So, comment on your own posts. Engage with your audience.
If you’re struggling to get comments in the first place, consider boosting your post.
Post at the Right Time
During different times of the day, Instagram has different amounts of traffic. There’s no hard and fast rule for when you should post, other than that you should post when your audience is most active. Depending on where your audience lives and what their habits are, that can change.
Hashtags make you discoverable to people who would otherwise never see your content. If you don’t use them, you’re losing out on easy views, likes, comments, and followers.
Be sure to:
- Keep hashtags relevant
- Do hashtag research to know what’s trending
- Mix popular and niche hashtags
How to Monetize Your Instagram Account
If you run a small business, you’ll start reaping the benefits almost immediately if you can gain followers and drive sales.
Whether your side hustle on Instagram involves selling products or not, you’ll want to monetize your Insta account.
When followers trust our accounts, they’re more likely to value our opinions. So, if you post positive words about your favorite headphones, supplements, restaurants, or anything else, they might take your word for it—and advertising is an industry that pays.
You can make money on Instagram through:
- sponsorships or sponsored posts
- affiliate marketing
- good old advertisements
- product placement
- selling physical or digital products
You might begin with a health and fitness account that makes money when people buy products through your custom links on Instagram. Then, you could start selling products of your own, like hydration powder, exercise equipment, or a fitness guide.
Build Your Instagram to Meet the Prerequisites
Before you can start making money off your Instagram side hustle, you have to meet the prerequisites:
- a dedicated fanbase,
- enough influence, and
- engaged followers
If you need some help getting out there, you can boost your account with Managergram. This service skyrockets your popularity, helping you move up in the algorithm and become discoverable.
With Managergram, you can pay as little as $5 for one month of 100 likes on each of your new posts. If you’re starting from scratch, using Managergram is the best way to gain followers fast. Gain your first 1k, 5k, or 10k followers to jump-start your side hustle on Instagram.
There you have it. If you want to start a side hustle on Instagram, you can.
Remember these essential rules, and you’ll do fine:
- always offer something valuable to your followers
- build a brand that people can trust
- doing your research pays off
- the put in the time and the energy you put in is what you get out
- the only way you’ll fail is if you give up
And when you follow the basic guidelines here, you can monetize your Instagram account in no time—and if you already have a small following, even better.
If you don’t, there are easy ways to boost your account with Managergram.