Tuesday, June 18

How to Build Your Own Business Around Instagram

How to Build Your Own Business Around Instagram

Instagram is a popular social media you can use to share your photos and videos, communicate with friends and follow the influencers and celebrities. But not just that. Instagram is also a great platform to make money on, as well as a useful tool for growing your business. And the list of business opportunities Instagram opens the door to is indeed endless. Since millions of people hang out on this social media platform, it is like a global meeting point where you can find your target audience, engage with customers, clients, partners and other people, sell your products, or help others sell their products.

In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most effective ways not just to make money on Instagram but also build a real business around it. But first, let’s take a look at some statistics so you can understand the true potential of this social network.

  • Building a personal brand
  • Start a marketing agency
  • Сreate tool for Instagram
  • Earn like influencer
  • Сreate own photo-sharing app

Instagram in numbers

If you plan to make money by relying on any social media, the first thing you should look at is the size of its audience. According to the internal data collected by Instagram, it has more than 1 billion active monthly users that are a quite impressive number. This, basically, means that every seventh person in the world uses this app at least once a month. On top of this, half of these people spend some time on Instagram every day.

Another great news is that nearly 80 percent of Instagram accounts follow a business. Thus, Instagram audience consider this social network as a platform where they can purchase and sell products, search for business partners etc.

Speaking about Instagram users in more details, a market study by Statista shows that about 54 percent of them are people between the ages of 18 and 34 years. In general, the total number of female users is almost equal to the total number of male users (51 and 49 percent respectively).

The leading market of Instagram (based on the audience size) is the US. About 123 million of its active users live there.

Easy start: building a personal brand

If you ask a random group of people how to earn on Instagram, most of them will probably say that you need to create a personal blog, get thousands of followers, and then make money on promoting different products. And it’s no wonder. This is the most popular and probably the easiest way to build a business around Instagram.  

How exactly everything works? Well, there are three pretty much standard ways to get money using your Instagram account: sponsored posts, affiliate links, and advertising your own products to your followers. In the latter case, you’ll also need to create a website or online store where you’ll actually sell these products. If you want, you can even connect your Instagram account and the site by integrating Instagram APIs.

Alternatively, if you manage to build a strong personal brand on Instagram, you will be able to make money by helping others do the same. You can even start a marketing agency and provide social media marketing services to other businesses.

Piggybacking on Instagram’s success

As mentioned, Instagram has a huge audience. However, the needs of such an audience are not limited just to the features and functionality offered by this social network. And it is a great opportunity for everyone else to make money by filling the gap.

As one of the options, you may create an application that will help its users enhance their Instagram profile. This may be anything from a photo editing app like VSCO and Snapseed to the application that will automate a post-publishing process like Later and Buffer. To give you some hard numbers, Snapseed, for example, was downloaded more than 100 million times solely from Play Store.

How does this kind of apps make money? Most of them are free to download but offer in-app purchases or have ads inside. You may also create a paid app. But in such case, you’ll need a decent strategy of how to engage users and make them give you their money.

Different tools that help Instagram users get some valuable insights about their audiences constitute another category of solutions which may bring you a lot of money. A great example of such tools is Influence.co. It offers a number of services which help social media users monetize their popularity on Instagram, Facebook, and other platforms.

Socialblade.com is also a popular tool Instagram users take advantage of. It provides global analytics and helps influencers and businesses keep their fingers on a pulse.

Earning millions by influencing others

Many believe that Instagram is something not very serious and, thus, it cannot be a real business. But, of course, it’s not true. Popular Instagrammers can command as much as $100,000 for a single post. According to the report by Traackr, about 72 percent of big companies pay money to influencers for promoting their products. So being an Instagram celebrity is rarely just a side activity for earning extra cash.

$100,000 for a single post

However, having the Instagram business is not just about posting interesting content on a regular basis. Achieving good results usually requires the work of the whole team (for example, photographer, accountant, manager), as well as some management system like CRM.

So Instagram is a great platform where you can earn millions of dollars. But to get the opportunity to do so, you should think about such things as the optimization of business processes, improving customer/client relationships, etc.

Defying Instagram with an Instagram-like app

Instagram is not the only photo-sharing app that has many users. There are a number of similar products which are popular and profitable as well. Of course, none of them copy Instagram completely – they have their unique features. However, such applications are great examples of how one can build a successful business inspired by Instagram.

The biggest advantage of this option is that you won’t depend on Instagram at all. There is a chance that your app will become Instagram’s competitor so you’ll still have to keep track of all updates and trends. But your income will not decrease if, for instance, Instagram decides to change its policies or is embroiled in some data privacy scandal or whatever.

Let’s take a look at the success story so you can better understand what we are talking about. Retrica is a photo-sharing app just like Instagram. Although it focuses more on selfies, users can take photos with a back camera too. In addition to standard features which you can find in both applications such as following other people and sending messages, Retrica allows its users to apply filters before they take shots and create GIFs. As of today, this application has been downloaded more than 350 million times. Not bad, isn’t it?


As you may see, Instagram is a great starting point for launching your own business. For example, you can build your personal brand and make money on advertising. You can also develop some apps or tools that will help Instagram users make stylish photos and grow the list of followers. In addition, if you are already an influencer, you may increase your income by engaging other professionals in your team and using a management software tailored to your needs. On top of that, if you don’t want to depend on Instagram, you may consider creating an Instagram-like application that will have some functionality this social network lacks. So the choice is up to you. And remember: nothing is impossible and only the sky’s the limit.

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