How Much Do Instagram Influencers Make?

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Karen Lin

Instagram Growth | Feb 15, 2024

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Anybody can become famous these days, thanks to social media. Successful Instagram influencers are celebrities in their own right and enjoy almost all the perks of traditional celebrities. The prestige of fame, even if only within their niche, means having a significant degree of clout or influence over their followers — hence, the term influencer. Just like traditional celebrities, Instagram influencers can make good money from their popularity — this is one of the many ways to make money on Instagram. So how much do Instagram influencers make? And do you have what it takes to become a successful influencer?

A stack of hundred-dollar bills to show how much Instagram influencers can make on the platform.

How do you make money by becoming an Instagram influencer?

There’s one non-negotiable requirement to become a successful Instagram influencer: a huge following. You need thousands of followers, at the very least, whose purchasing behaviors you’ll be influencing. How much money an Instagram influencer makes largely depends on how many followers they have. The more followers you have, the more people you can influence, and the more money you can make. Here’s a quick run-through of how influencers can make money on Instagram.

  • Collaborate with other brands or with businesses. Depending on how big of an influence you have, you can promote a product or service in exchange for freebies or money.
  • Sell your own merchandise. You can start your own brand and sell merchandise to your followers.
  • Earn via Instagram Live badges. When you go Live, your viewers can purchase badges to show their support. Keep in mind that you need a professional account to enable badges for Live streams.
  • Offer tutorials. If you’re an established expert in your niche, you can earn extra money by making tutorial videos which can be viewed for a fee.
  • Take advantage of Instagram’s new monetization features for creators. These include affiliate marketing, bonuses, and subscriptions.

Take note that you also need to establish excellent credibility in order to monetize your influence. A large chunk of your follower base must trust your judgment and expertise for you to be able to convince them to spend money on something.

A hand holding 100 US Dollar banknotes earned as an Instagram influencer.

How many followers do you need on Instagram to get paid?

If you’re worried about how many followers you need on Instagram to get paid, then you’ll be relieved to know that you have the potential to make money as an influencer with only 1,000 followers. The key is to have high engagement. The more likes, comments, and shares you get on every content you post, the greater your influence score — which is one of the things that brands and businesses look at when they consider you for a collaboration. But, again, your rate will be dictated by the size of your follower base. If you’re just starting and only have a few thousand followers, you can focus on generating consistently high engagement to convince businesses to invest in you and more followers will, well, follow soon after.

How much does Instagram pay?

Instagram (together with Facebook) recently launched new monetization features for creators. This means you have several opportunities to earn money directly from your content. The answer to “How much does Instagram pay?” via these new monetization features depends on a number of factors, including number of followers and which features you use.

Instagram does not have a minimum requirement for number of followers, but you should still prioritize how many followers you have on Instagram to make money because this will determine your financial success as an influencer. At the very least, you should have 1,000 followers and consistently excellent engagement if you want to be taken seriously for brand collaboration. Having upwards of 10,000 followers can mean a stable and decent income. So make sure to know all the best strategies to get more followers on Instagram.

Screenshot of Instagram’s new Monetization Features for creators page from their website.

How much does Instagram pay for 1k followers?

You’ll be pleased to know how much you can get paid for having 1k followers. Having 1,000 to 10,000 followers qualifies you as a nano-influencer and you can make between $5 and $25 per post, or even higher. Keep in mind that aside from great engagement, the quality of your content, your name recognition, audience demographic, and skill set will also influence your rate.   

If you’re a micro-influencer — with 10,000 to 50,000 followers — you can make $40,000 to $100,000 per year. The numbers keep growing exponentially as your follower numbers hit the high 6 digits and beyond.

How much do Instagram influencers make from sponsored content?

Here are some examples of how much Instagram influencers make from sponsored content. How rates are determined vary, but number of followers, engagement metrics, niche, usage rights, exclusivity, and other factors come into play.

  1. A nano influencer with 1,000 to 10,000 followers can make about $901 per post or an average of $1,420 per month.
  2. A swipe-up on an ad on Instagram Stories can earn $100 to $1,500.
  3. An “average” influencer can make $2,970 per month.
  4. A mega influencer with more than 1M followers can earn about $15,356 per month.

And here’s how much the biggest celebrity influencers on Instagram make, according to a 2022 Hootsuite report:

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo, 475M followers. An estimated average price of $1,604,000 per post.
  2. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, 334M followers. An estimated average price of $1,523,000 per post.
  3. Ariana Grande, 328M followers. An estimated average price of $1,510,000 per post.
  4. Kylie Jenner, 365M followers. An estimated average price of $1,494,000 per post.
  5. Selena Gomez, 341M followers. An estimated average price of $1,468,000  per post.

How much do Instagram influencers make via other monetization tools

As an influencer, you’re no longer limited to brand partnerships to make money on Instagram. Here are other monetization tools you can explore and how much you can make as an Instagram influencer when you use them. 

  • Affiliate marketing. A native affiliate tool will soon be available to creators so they can earn commissions from the purchases they drive within the Instagram app. How much you earn will depend on the affiliate program.
  • Instagram badges. You can get paid when you go live with Live badges, which works as a tipping option for your viewers. How much can an Instagram influencer make from Live badges? Your viewers can purchase multiple badges during your Live in $0.99, $1.99 and $4.99 increments. You need a Professional account and be eligible for monetization to enable badges.
  • Bonuses. You can earn bonuses from your amazing content through Reels Play, a bonus program that lets you earn money from the number of plays on your reels. This bonus program is invite-only for U.S. creators with less than 1 million followers.
  • Subscriptions. Subscriptions allow you to have a recurring monthly income via exclusive content offered to your most engaged followers. Your subscribers will pay a monthly fee, which you will set, so they can view regularly scheduled content that’s exclusive to them.

Screenshot of Instagram Live Badges page from their website.

Get started on your financially successful influencer journey

Knowing how much Instagram influencers make can be a great motivation to pursue the influencer path. Bear in mind that even with more than 1 billion active users per month, growing your Instagram account and building your sphere of influence is not going to be easy. Employing all the best practices for Instagram growth will be of great help, but having the guidance of an expert in Instagram growth strategy will take you even further along on your journey to financial success.

A company like Path Social can deliver accelerated growth — in follower numbers and engagement numbers — to give an edge as an Instagram influencer. Take advantage of Path Social’s advanced AI targeting capability to find real and genuinely interested followers, and let their in-house team of social media specialists put your content in front of the right audience to generate quality engagement. Start growing and gaining Instagram followers today!