This article is the first guide dedicated to designers on how to make money with Instagram. On the web, you can find all sorts of marketing strategies, tricks, tricks and fanfare about how to have followers, but not much quite like this.
In this article, I will talk about practical and concrete facts. In fact, I want to talk about how a designer can use Instagram in their work. To promote yourself, to make yourself known and therefore to make more money.
Until a few months ago I was also skeptical about using Instagram and then, after following an online course, I changed my mind. In that course, I was told how there are dozens, hundreds, thousands of people around the world who, directly or indirectly, can earn tens or hundreds of dollars a day on Instagram!
From that moment I consider Instagram as one of the most important tools for a designer to make themselves known. A tool that, as you will see, can be perfectly integrated with your online portfolio.
Because Instagram is increasingly used
Instagram is probably one of the fastest and most dizzying social networks ever. Every day thousands of new users sign up and millions of photos and videos are posted. The number of active users is constantly growing (over 350 million) and companies use it as a communication channel with great visual impact.
The peculiarity of Instagram is that you can only share photos or short videos. Where on the other social networks, generally, we write, on Instagram we post photos and images.
Because Instagram is mobile and simple to use
Another of the features that made (and still makes) Instagram different is that it can be used mainly by mobile phones.
This initially allowed it to become a huge success among the digital natives, young people like me, who first populated the social network.
The fact that it can be used mainly by mobile phone also makes it extremely simple and intuitive to use.
Because Instagram is focused on the visuals
Only images and videos can be posted on Instagram.
What do designers work on if not images and videos? This alone should make you realize how much potential this social network has for those who, like us, work on images.
If you are able to create quality visual content, your potential on a visual social media platform like Instagram is basically endless.
So maybe you want to know the ways in which you can use Instagram to earn as a designer, right? Let’s talk about it.
How does a designer exploit Instagram?
On Instagram, there are a lot of people. All of these people gather there for one reason, and one reason alone: images. And, seeing as you work primarily with images, it’s the perfect platform for you.
But, how can you take advantage of Instagram if you are a graphic designer?
First, you need to plan what kind of profile you want to use. If you want to use your personal profile to promote your work or if you want to create a new one and then use two different ones (or even more), each with different goals and uses.
On Instagram, you can register a different profile with each different email address you have (I have several Instagram profiles, for example) and you can manage up to 5 at the same time while remaining connected to all of them.
Deciding what kind of profile you will take advantage of and the building is essential to plan your goals and the way you make money with Instagram.
So, what are the various uses of an Instagram profile and therefore the goals that can be achieved through it?
You can promote your personal brand
The first way you use Instagram to make money is basically to advertise yourself. And here you can use both a personal and main profile as well as a separate and more “professional” second profile.
What does promoting your personal brand mean?
It means promoting your person, promoting yourself from all angles. So with photos of your life, of you while you work, while you plan or draw, while you travel while doing interesting things that can interest many people and increase your followers.
There are so many people who earn huge sums simply because the brands contact them to advertise on Instagram.
In practice, profiles with many followers and a lot of engagement (ie many interactions – likes and comments – with the photos and videos they publish), in the eyes of a company, are very attractive as a means of getting publicity!
I am sure that if you have already filmed a bit on Instagram you will often have seen very popular profiles posting pictures with brands and products in plain sight.
It’s called marketing and there are people who really make big money out of it. In these three examples, there are those who promote a sponsored product or their travel blog via the link in the video description.
Blogger example profiles
Of course, not everyone wants to promote themselves and their sparkling life. And you aren’t a blogger, right? Maybe you’re interested in promoting your projects, your portfolio, your graphic design or your drawings, right?
You can promote your work and your projects. Instagram can really be a bombshell for your freelancer business or your creative agency or your career in general.
There are hundreds of artists and designers on Instagram who receive daily collaboration proposals from companies and individuals after seeing their projects.
At the same time, introducing yourself to a client or a company with a strong profile in which you promote your work with thousands and thousands of followers and interactions is certainly an added value, don’t you think?
Instagram can, therefore, be an exceptional way to send back hundreds of users to your online portfolio every day, perhaps on a page where they can contact you and ask for a quote.
Example of freelancer profiles
Freelancers rely on one person only to promote themselves in a public space: themselves. Even if Instagram was originally created as a means to connect friends, it has quickly turned into a way for anyone and everyone to connect with others around the world.
You can create business profiles with the aim of selling something. A third way is to create business profiles, or profiles of some company or agency, with the aim of promoting their products.
There are many freelancers, designers or illustrators who sell products, such as mockups, fonts, books or stickers.
You can create an Instagram profile where you post photos and images of the prints you want to sell. In the description of your profile, you send the visitor back to the site on which he can make the purchase or contact you.
Example of store profiles
You can enrich your profile with quotes, photos of you while you design, exclusive content for Instagram and much more.
If you reach good numbers of people “on target”, ie in line with what you want to sell and promote, then you can surely increase your earnings and start seeing the money coming from Instagram.
So now the objectives are clear. There is, however, a big question mark: how do you reach big numbers on Instagram?
How to grow on Instagram
Is it possible to reach thousands of followers, hundreds of likes, comments and potential customers through Instagram, starting from scratch?
The answer is yes.
But if you are wondering if there are tricks and little shortcuts you can forget it. For example, there are many people who pretend to be very popular on Instagram but what they do is simply buy followers.
All this does not make sense.
The followers you buy are always fake profiles that will never interact with your posts or create value for your page.
What you need to do is get people really interested in what you publish, people, who can actually potentially contact you and interact with you and your products.
How do you do that?
Here are some basic tips to get started
1. Use English
In the description of the profile and in the description of the photos, if you use the English language you can reach all the millions and millions of users in the world. If you only use Italian, you will limit your audience greatly.
Of course, it can also be a strategy if, intentionally, you offer services or products only for Italians. In any other case, however, English leads to extremely better and faster results.
2. Use the most popular hashtags
If there’s a social network where hashtags are really used by users, that’s Instagram. Hashtags are used to find photos related to certain topics that you may like.
Make the most of the hashtags and enter all those needed to describe your image.
Don’t forget to use some of the most popular hashtags to reach more people!
There are tons of popular hashtags out there, and they change all the time. I advise you to create a note on your phone with these hashtags or with those that you will choose to reuse from time to time through a copy/paste.
3. Leave more comments and likes
Use hashtags to find images of other users to leave feedback. Write comments and put like as many images as you can.
The more you comment or likes, the more you will get feedback. Granted, this doesn’t always result in new followers, but if it were easy, everyone would do it, right?
Make yourself extremely active on the profiles of others. It’ll get your profile noticed and receive notoriety in return.
To make money with Instagram, you must first have followers!
4. Use quality images
To make things easier for you, an Instagram profile full of cool images will be something that users won’t forget.
If you have a profile full of boring, trivial and repetitive images, without quality, those who reach your profile won’t find it easy to follow you. People want to see something new and unique, not blurry and unrecognizable.
If instead, you have a profile that breaks the norm, full of interesting and beautiful things to see, then you will see that the number of those who choose to follow you will increase dramatically.
How to make money with Instagram
You can waste time for months as I did try to increase my followers and make money. This strategy only works for those who are already rich and famous. For the average user like us, you need a strategy before you even begin.
Study up online. There are lots of articles and even courses you can take to help increase your follower count. If you’re seriously interested in growing your account, collaborating with other brands, and making some extra cash, then it’s probably well worth it.
It seems pretty hard nowadays to find someone that isn’t using Instagram. For that reason alone, it’s well worth it to have a presence there. All it really takes is a few minutes per day to get your name out there.
A few minutes per day can result in some serious cash return a lot faster than you think. Stay consistent and follow the tips above, and you might just be the next Instagram celebrity.