How Many Followers You Need On Instagram To Get Paid

Profile photo of Karen Lin, author

Karen Lin

Instagram 101 | May 22, 2024

Want More Real Instagram Followers?

Instagram is a great place for influencers, marketers, and brands to make money. Many people make a lot of money there—be they celebrities or non-celebrities. But what gets them to earn so much money through an app like Instagram? If it’s their followers, then how many followers do they need on Instagram to get paid? 

Big sports stars like Cristiano Ronaldo and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson have 617M and 396M followers. They charge more than $3 million for just one post on Instagram. But it’s not just the celebrities. Eleonora Pons (@lelepons) is a non-celebrity influencer with 54M followers. She gets over $180,000 for one post.

So, do you also need millions of followers on Instagram to get paid? Not really. You don’t have to be a movie star or athlete or have a huge following. You can start with the following, starting as low as 1,000. 

We will guide you more about how many followers you need to get paid for your content through this blog. Moreover, we’ll share some strategies you can use to start making money as a business or an influencer on Instagram. 

A person holding their phone, scrolling through an Instagram profile.

How Many Followers on Instagram To Get Paid for Reels, Posts, and Stories?

You want to become an influencer, but you only have 2,000 followers. You’ve started making content but haven’t landed a deal yet. But one thing is preventing you from starting your Instagram journey: How many followers do you need on Instagram to get paid for reels, posts, and stories?

A nano influencer can earn money on Instagram with just 1,000 followers. Some other factors, such as your performance, determine whether or not you can get paid and the amount of money you can make. 

Engagement Rates

Making money on Instagram is not just about how many followers you have. But it is also about how much your followers interact with your content. If they comment and share your stuff, Instagram thinks your posts are good and shows them to more people. This helps your account to get more attention and grow. That means more people will see your content. So, the more engagement you create, the more money you’ll make. 


A unique style is super important in the competitive influencer sphere. Different influencers prefer different styles of photos, stories, or videos. This is what helps them build their audience. 

Consistency in your chosen style of photo aesthetics—through color schemes, themes, or backgrounds—shapes your account’s distinctiveness. So, you need to ensure you’re not just cloning another brand or individual. Make your style authentic and unique because users resonate with genuine personalities. 

Build an emotional connection with your audience. Connecting emotionally is irreplaceable. It’s the heart of your account.

An influencer having a live session on Instagram.


The type of audience you cater to greatly affects how much you get paid per follower. If your followers belong to sought-after demographics or have a taste for high-end products, you’ll likely receive more lucrative offers.

This is because brands align with accounts that share their focus. Thus, you must center your efforts and focus on a specific area or niche. While more particular niches face less competition, gaining followers might be more challenging. Yet, such niche accounts attract brands seeking a dedicated community.

For instance, social media greatly influences our buying choices. Nearly 7 in 10 people base their purchases on recommendations from social media influencers. So, if you become an influencer in that niche, you will get more collaboration opportunities. 

Number of Income Streams

Having multiple income streams on Instagram amplifies earnings. While that might sound like common sense, many influencers overlook this aspect. You need to have diverse revenue channels to boost your income potential. 

Depending on one source limits your earnings and can also be risky. On the contrary, if you have varied streams, you won’t have to worry if one source declines for any reason. You will be able to leverage audience engagement and partnerships to the max. Moreover, you’d be driving higher income and stability in your career.

How To Make Money on Instagram as a Business

If you’re a business wondering how to make money on Instagram, we’re here to help. Here are a few ways to make money on Instagram to set you in the right direction. 

1. Sell on Instagram Shop

Selling via an Instagram Shop is a direct way to earn money through the app. Users can easily purchase items using the platform’s built-in e-commerce tools. When you set up a shop, Instagram displays your products or services in your followers’ feeds alongside regular posts. 

This makes these shops great for attracting impulse buyers. And a significant portion of the global population are social media users. So, shops also serve as a convenient way to offer quick customer support to social media users. The best part is that the process of setting up an Instagram shop is pretty simple.

You can also sell your products using various features like:

  • Shoppable posts and Stories: Use product tags in images and videos to display items from your catalog.
  • Ads with Shopping tags: Add product tags to ads to widen the reach of your shoppable posts. This requires a business account or boosting existing Instagram posts.
  • Live shopping: When going live, tag products from your brand featured in your broadcast. These products appear at the bottom of the screen, allowing viewers to tap and make a purchase.

2. Use a Chatbot

A smart way to improve customer service and boost sales is by using an Instagram chatbot. It’s a feature linked to your Instagram and website, designed to answer common questions from your followers. If it can’t handle a complex query, it forwards it to a real team member.

Now, how does this help you earn on Instagram? It’s simple! The chatbot can suggest products directly within the chat, making sales smoother and quicker. When asked about foundation colors, the chatbot provides three instant options to add to the cart on Instagram, ensuring convenience.

Two influencers are recording a video for their Instagram accounts.

3. Collaborate With Influencers

An Instagram influencer holds sway over a dedicated group of followers and fans. Users perceive them as trendsetters or experts in their niche. This authenticity is what brands tap into to market their products. They collaborate with verified creators whose audience aligns with their target customers. These partnerships involve influencers sharing sponsored content in their Instagram posts, Stories, or Reels to promote products.

However, the success of influencer marketing highly depends on the alignment of values and resonance with the audience. So, if Instagram is the sole source of your income, choose brands that resonate with your audience to prevent disconnecting with them. Similarly, brands must carefully select Instagram creators to ensure compatibility with values and audience. 

4. Do Business Collaborations

Like collaborating with influencers, teaming up with businesses and creators provides a chance to engage with a broader audience. You can research for businesses similar to yours. Connect with these businesses and see if they’re up for a collaboration. 

You can then propose to host contests or giveaways together. This is an effective strategy for expanding your follower base and connecting with a new audience. You will be able to leverage engagement from each other’s followers. Moreover, this strategy is cost-effective since one campaign will bring engagement to both partners.

5. Advertise

Besides the novel and innovative strategies we discussed above, the good old conventional advertising still works wonders. It is one of the most effective and trackable ways to market your product. 

Boost any Instagram post to turn it into an ad and track progress through Instagram analytics.

This feature enables you to measure the impact of the advertised post in terms of engagement, reach, and overall effectiveness. It’s a simple yet valuable tool that helps you understand the ROI for your promotional efforts on the platform.

How Do Influencers Make Money on Instagram?

Businesses have been using social media platforms to make money for decades. But did you know non-celebrity influencers can earn a living through this app? We’re here to help you uncover the mystery of how influencers make money on Instagram

A woman recording a brand collaboration video.

Collaborate With Brands

Brand partnerships are among the most recognized ways for creators to earn on Instagram. 40% of influencers earn money through branded promotions, like sponsored posts. Important tip: align with a brand that resonates with your values. Partnering with a brand incongruent with your regular content can come off as inauthentic.

Brand collaborations come in various forms. You might receive payment for featuring a specific product or get free products in exchange for content creation. To kick off, showcase your favorite things—restaurants, skincare, whatever feels authentic—to build a portfolio. These posts can serve as examples when reaching out to brands. Beauty and makeup influencers frequently engage in such brand deals. 

Transparency is key in paid partnerships or sponsored posts. Use relevant hashtags, label the post as sponsored, and explicitly mention the partnership in your captions. Failing to comply with Instagram’s branded content guidelines can lead to post removal. Not to mention, it’s just not a good look.

Join an Affiliate Program

Affiliate marketers, creators, or publishers share unique affiliate links on their Instagram. Through these brand links, they generate sales that earn them a commission. Unlike influencers, who often get a fixed fee for exposure, affiliates earn solely from sales-driven efforts.

Diversify your affiliate links across your Instagram bio, Stories, and link-in-bio page to promote multiple brands. Incorporating promo codes in post captions (where links aren’t permitted) increases opportunities for driving sales.

For access to affiliate programs, consider direct outreach to brands or explore renowned affiliate marketplaces like these:

  • Rakuten Advertising: Known for vetted advertisers and a weekly payment setup.
  • LTK: An exclusive fashion and lifestyle influencer network granting access to over 5,000 brands.
  • Amazon Associates: A popular choice offering a 10% commission on qualifying sales.

Enable Live Badges

Instagram’s Live Badges present a lucrative opportunity for creators based in the U.S. It’s a feature that allows direct earnings within the app while streaming live videos. Viewers can purchase badges priced between $0.99 and $4.99 to show support during the live sessions.

To activate Live Badges, follow these steps: 

  1. Go to your Profile and locate the Professional Dashboard. 
  2. Enable Instagram’s monetization option. 
  3. Once your application is approved, you will see a ‘Set Up Badges’ button.
  4. Tap on it to use your Live Badges during live video broadcasts.

This feature enables creators to earn and fosters a more interactive experience with their audience. It allows followers to participate more actively by supporting their favorite creators directly during live content. For creators, it adds monetization avenues within the Instagram platform, enhancing their revenue streams.

Open Your eCommerce Store

If you’re a content creator with good engagement rates, you have a prime opportunity to market your products. You wouldn’t have to rely on other brands to make money solely. Instead, you can leverage your Instagram presence to work on selling your products. 

Whether physical goods, services, or digital items, these offerings can extend a creator’s brand. This will also provide value to their audience, allowing them to own a slice of their beloved online personalities. 

This is why more influencers are starting their businesses and becoming entrepreneurs. It helps them achieve independence by monetizing their craft. They leverage their engagement rates to boost creative ventures and generate hefty income. 

This trend showcases a shift towards self-reliance and autonomy in pursuing financial success as a content creator.

An influencer selling her merchandise online.

Sell Your Merch

Leveraging Instagram as a marketing tool for other revenue streams proves to be a smart money-making strategy. Once you have a distinct look, logo, or catchy phrase, it’s a great opportunity to consider selling merchandise. 

Your brand’s essence splashed across merchandise can be a lucrative avenue, not just in sales but also as free advertising. Imagine your followers proudly showcasing your brand on their everyday items. It’s like walking advertisements that can significantly boost your visibility and revenue.

Link to Your Blog or Vlog

Instagram influencers can earn money by linking their profiles to their blogs or vlogs. It’s like setting up a trail. A blog/vlog grabs followers’ interest and then guides them to more detailed content elsewhere.

With blogs, influencers build a solid reputation on Instagram. They encourage their followers to check out their content outside the platform, which can mean more cash. 

How? Well, they get into partnerships with brands for sponsored posts or reviews. Since followers trust them, influencers can persuade them to try products/services, making companies willing to pay for that exposure.

But it’s not just about sponsored stuff. Their blogs or vlogs become money-makers themselves. Ads, subscriptions, selling merch, or offering exclusive content can all bring in cash directly. So, by linking to their blogs or vlogs, Instagram influencers can turn their popularity into money-making opportunities.

Two women talking while recording a video.

Offer Paid Subscriptions

Instagram influencers can tap into a goldmine by offering paid subscriptions, transforming their content into exclusive, premium material. Through this model, you can create a private space within the platform. Here, you can share specialized, behind-the-scenes, or in-depth content. Moreover, you can turn your followers into potential customers. 

By providing value beyond their regular posts, influencers attract dedicated followers willing to pay for access to unique content. This content includes tutorials, live sessions, or exclusive perks. This model thrives on a sense of community and personalized interaction, fostering a deeper connection between the influencer and followers.

These paid subscriptions often grant members exclusive access to Q&A sessions, workshops, or intimate discussions. The recurring revenue from these subscriptions amplifies an influencer’s earning potential on Instagram. This offers a stable income stream alongside other monetization methods like sponsored content or affiliate marketing.

In essence, offering paid subscriptions on Instagram empowers influencers to monetize their expertise and content. This rewards their loyal followers with a more intimate and specialized experience while bolstering their income.

Get More Followers on Instagram With Path Social 

A substantial following isn’t necessary to begin earning on Instagram. You don’t need to wait until you reach 10k followers if you want to get paid. 

All you need is to put in some effort and create an account with a high level of engagement. You can do that regardless of whether you are a nano-influencer, micro-influencer, or mega-influencer.

Start offering your services to the brands much earlier if you can put your value across to your clients. While your payouts won’t be so high due to a low follower count, it will help you take a start. So, even though having a huge following isn’t everything, it definitely can make your path easier.

Are you still confused about how many followers on Instagram get paid to make money off your content creation hobby? Let Path Social help you. We have spent a decade cultivating an in-house platform of Instagram influencers and refining our proprietary AI targeting algorithm. This unique combination allows us to connect with more verified Instagram comments and genuinely interested followers for active engagement. 

Our unparalleled results are impossible to replicate, ensuring the longevity of the Instagram community you build with us. Ready to boost your Instagram presence? Start expanding your follower base with Path Social today and cultivate meaningful engagement.