Can Influencers Make Money from Followers?

This is a question asked by many, especially those who are on the social media platform Instagram. Everyone gets followers, so does everyone get paid? How do we get paid? The answers to these questions can easily be found now as Instagram itself has provided them. Many examples of online content creators who get paid can be found around us. They include influencers, bloggers, etc. Though tricky at first, after some time, they eventually get accustomed to the world of followers and social media influence.

Who Will Pay Us?

It is firms, companies and other business models that come searching for such individuals. They are looking for someone to be an online face for their companies and are looking to keep up with modern times as well.

As we know, most of our shopping has moved to online platforms, be it beauty, fashion, home goods, etc. We are connected through this chain of interdependence that none of us can survive without.

When To Start?

But when can you get started with this “job”, so to speak? Unfortunately, it is not entirely in our hands; as mentioned above, the companies also play an important role in helping those who want to promote their products on social media.

Various sources have confirmed that even people with less than 3000 subscribers can get hired to endorse products. Therefore, the barrier to entry, if there even is any, is considerably lower than many assume.

There are mainly two ways through which influencers get paid for their brand endorsements –

  1.  Brand Ambassadors – Established creators with many followers, viewers and likes get recognized and do the job of promoting any product. Companies just want to reach audiences that they may otherwise be unable to reach.

For instance, Kayla Compton became a brand ambassador for jewelry company Pura Vida with less than 2,000 followers, for which she was paid $250. She was also paid for sharing links or codes and got extra bonuses from that.

Now, with Instagram’s new features, these hired influencers can attach stickers on their stories or posts that they make for the companies they work for and it can be easily accessed by the viewers. Many brands takes help of social media sites like to reach out bloggers.

  • Using reels – Companies also want the social media influencers hired by them to use reels make their brand known to all since it is the most convenient form to view content thanks to its short and simple nature and its likes feature.

People get paid based on their views, meaning that someone getting 1000 views on their reel may get paid less than someone getting 10,000 views. But this method is gaining a lot of momentum and attention.

Also, some can also use the new feature of Badges on Instagram that helps people to have a live feed for their stories or reels. Here, the benefit is that it makes people intrigued as they want to see their favorite content creators. But you need to have at least 100,000 followers and be at least 18 years old in some countries to be registered as influencer.

Now to answer the question on everybody’s lips: why do those with a relatively small number of followers get hired as well? The answer is three-fold –

  1. Nano Influencers – People with a small following have come forward and shown the world that due to the close-knit communities they often build, the influence they have in their niches can be more than that what those with large numbers of followers achieve.

Additionally, the number of fake accounts used to build an illusion of following is increasing, which makes the small account seem better in comparison as they can be trusted with the truth about their actual followers.

  • Meta–Owned Instagram – Last year, it was announced by Instagram that it would be investing $1 billion into paying content creators for their work. Due to this, the numbers do not matter now.
  • Affiliate Marketing – What is most important to brands is an influencer sharing the brand’s links to their followers so that they can increase traffic towards their sites and hopefully build their customer base. Now, Instagram has done the same thing; they are hiring people to do the same job but for their own links, and then paying them.

They are paying people for their direct sale from Instagram itself and the payment is in the form of commissions. Bethany Everett-Ratcliffe, who is already enrolled, has just 16,000 followers and earned more than $500 in one month.

To list a few examples of different markets –

From brand deals:

  • Macy Mariano, a travel and fashion influencer with 102,000 followers
  • Jehava Brown, a travel and lifestyle influencer with 70,000 followers
  • Nick Cutsumpas, a plant influencer with 63,700 followers
  • Jade Darmawangsa, a YouTube creator (382,000 subscribers) with 52,000 Instagram followers
  • Ashley Jones, a fashion and lifestyle influencer with 45,000 followers
  • Emma Cortes, a lifestyle influencer and podcast host with 38,000 followers
  • Britney Turner, a lifestyle influencer with 27,000 followers
  • Caitlin Patton, a lifestyle influencer with 22,000 followers

From Meta Platforms, including Instagram:

  • Jackson Weimer, a meme creator who got paid more than $6,000 for views on his Reels with 114,000 followers
  • Several influencers reveal the different ‘bonus’ payments Instagram is offering, with some stretching up to $35,000

From affiliate links:

  • Bethany Everett-Ratcliffe, a lifestyle micro influencer with 16,000 followers, makes money using Instagram’s native affiliate program
  • Vi Lai, a skincare influencer, uses Instagram and TikTok to make thousands of dollars per month using affiliate marketing
  • 4 Instagram influencers reveal what the platform’s exclusive affiliate marketing beta test is like — and how much they’re earning

Conclusion –

All these numbers show that a world for breadwinners is easily accessible on Instagram. People enjoy the perks of getting paid as for some, it is like extra income, and for some, it is their only source of income.