How To Make Money On Instagram With Under 5,000 Followers

There are a few questions that continue to come up for Instagram influencers. How to make money on Instagram? How to get paid for Instagram posts? Similar questions like these flood our inbox from budding Instagram influencers.

Instagram is one of the top social media channels to make money on as an influencer. There is certainly no shortage of ways to get money from Instagram. However, knowing how to make money on instagram is somewhat easier said than done.

First, you should consider at a few key Instagram stats:

  • 100 million photos and videos uploaded each day
  • 500,000 active Instagram influencers
  • 55 percent of influencers use Instagram Stories

The above stats can be a bit disheartening when it comes to getting paid for your influence.

Competition is fierce. But there are more than enough Instagram stats to compel you to keep that influence rolling:

  • 130 million users tap on shopping posts
  • 25 million business profiles on the popular social channel
  • 75 percent of businesses are now on Instagram
  • 75 percent of consumers turn to Instagram to find products
  • 69 percent of marketers will increase Instagram influencer spend

These stats are certainly more appealing to budding influencers like yourself. The best news is that you don’t need hundreds of thousands of followers to make money on Instagram.

In fact, you can do it with under 5,000 followers!

Do you have less than 5,000 followers on Instagram? If yes, you are an official nano-influencer. This means that your influence has serious money making potential.


“Their lack of fame is one of the qualities that make them approachable,” The New York Times explained. “When they recommend a shampoo or a lotion or a furniture brand on Instagram, their word seems as genuine as advice from a friend.”

Great example from Instagram nano-influencer @alexisbakerrr . . .

This nano-influencer has a following of 3,600, but her influence is more than real. She is unboxing new products from brands non-stop . . .

What makes nano-influencers like the one above so enticing to brands and marketers? It is all about the influence.

What Brands Look For When It Comes To Hiring Instagram Influencers

When influencer marketing began trending, follower count was the only metric brands used when hiring influencers. This held true for several years across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. YouTube as well with subscriber count.

Things have changed quite drastically since the inception of influencer marketing.

As influencer marketing became less of a trend and more of a viable marketing strategy, brands began tracking influencer campaign success. What brands realized was that they were wasting valuable marketing spend on influencers with 100k or more followers.

How did this happen? Fake influencers and the ability for anyone with an Instagram account to buy followers.

Buying followers is still a practice today . . .

But lucky for nano-influencers like you with less than 5,000 followers, brands and marketers no longer see follower count as a worthwhile metric to measure influencer effectiveness.

In fact, many brands and marketers prefer nano-influencers and micro-influencers over influencers and meg-influencers. Why? The loyalty of nano-influencers is far more powerful than that of influencers with hundreds of thousands of followers.

Brands and marketers now look at several influencer analytics. One of the top analytics is engagement rate. How engagement rate is calculated:

Engagement rate = (Likes + Comments) / Followers x 100

Let’s look at an example of a real nano-influencers engagement rate like a brand or marketer would. Lifestyle nano-influencer @hxrrietday has over 7,000 followers . . .

Her latest post received 287 likes and 37 comments . . .

Let’s do some math using the engagement rate formula:

Engagement rate = (287 + 37) / 7,926 x 100

This influencer’s engagement rate for her latest post is 4.08 percent. That is pretty decent, worthy of any brand or marketer sponsored post.

And this is no one hit wonder. Nano-influencers have the highest engagement rate among all influencers according to the stats from 2018 and 2019 . . .

If you have less than 5,000 followers as an Instagram influencer, you have serious earning potential. But you do need to know how to make money on Instagram to get that cash money rolling in.

How To Make Money On Instagram With Under 5,000 Followers

Making money on Instagram is not only about partnering with brands and knowing how to get paid for Instagram posts. There are several strategies to make money as an influencer.

You should not only depend on sponsored posts to make money on Instagram. Yes, this is one of the most profitable ways to get paid for your creativity. But limiting yourself to only one revenue stream is not a best practice.

Let’s take a look at how you can make money on Instagram with under 5,000 followers and a great engagement rate.

Write An Actionable Ebook To Sell To Your Audience

Before we get into using your influence to make others money, let’s start with a not so obvious, or thought about revenue stream as an influencer with under 5,000 followers. As an influencer with say 3,000 followers, you can make some serious upfront cash.

How? Become an influencer with a brand mindset.

For example, if you are a health and fitness Instagram nano-influencer, you can create an actionable, in-depth 90 day health and fitness plan and challenge. All packaged in ebook form.

This is how influencer @sarahs_day grew her Instagram following to over 1 million and earned her mega-influencer status . . .

Your followers hang on your every recommendation as a nano-influencer. They will most likely buy any product you see fit to make a video about. So why not give them more of your personal thoughts and recommendations within an ebook.

Affiliate marketing is a very profitable way to make money as a nano-influencer. Why affiliate marketing? With under 5,000 followers, your engagement rate is higher, making your affiliate link purchases higher.

More engagement equals more commissions as an affiliate marketer for brands. Here’s an example of how to use affiliate marketing to get paid from Instagram posts via @chelsss.rose . . .

Above the influencer gives her followers a place to shop via the Instagram post. Then the followers can choose each item to buy . . .

And you can see the affiliate Walmart ID in the URL that is unique to this influencer . . .

When purchased, the influencer makes a percentage of the sale. This may not seem like much at first, but it adds up the more affiliate links you have in the social-sphere.

Increase Your Brand Network With Influencer Marketing Platform Scalefluence

The number one way to make serious cash as an Instagram influencer is to land sponsored post opportunities with brands and marketers. You can net hundreds of dollars from a single sponsored post.

But landing sponsored post opportunities can prove a bit challenging these days.

You need to build your influence, compile analytics like engagement rate for each post, and average monthly engagement rate, find brand influencer gatekeepers, make contact, negotiate payment, and more.

It can be a lot of work to just find a brand or marketer willing to give you a shot. Unless you have a team of experts and a network of top brands at your fingertips. Enter influencer marketing platform Scalefluence.

Scalefluence is a premiere influencer marketing platform with a large network of top brands and agencies looking for influencers with under 5,000 followers like you. Working with us is easy, because we simplify the process.

Scalefluence influencer benefits include:

  • Creative control over influencer campaigns, keeping your personal brand intact
  • Access to a robust network of top brands across multiple niches
  • Algorithmic pricing to ensure you get the most money for your creativity
  • Fast payments on campaigns you have completed
  • Cross-collaboration opportunities with influencers in the Scalefluence network
  • And much more

Sign up today and learn how to make money on Instagram as an influencer with under 5,000 followers.

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