CAN WE MAKE MONEY FROM INSTAGRAM - Read the full real story
Hi everyone, Welcome to my Blog Post. If you are reading this further, be ready to listen to one of the very interesting stories of my blogging career. This is how and when I actually started making money off Instagram. Truth be told, the vast sea of bloggers and content creators that you digitally see on Instagram these days, there are almost thrice of them wanting to be in their shoes or the ones who have already tried there hands at it once in a while. The job looks pretty interesting and glamorous. It seems as if they have a very quirky work life and are always up to something or the other interesting. Trust me their lives aren’t that happening or fun, they just work their asses off almost all the time, to make it look like they have one. And I say this from my personal experience.
Of everyone that follows me and my work on Instagram (@LadyInRoseGold), the most frequent question that gets asked is, “Is it really a money making job?”, “Do you really get paid for your work on Instagram?” Initially I would find it a little demeaning as if people do not consider my work worthy of me being paid for it. Or if the line of my work was considered too frivolous or vain for me to be making out of it. But now with time, I have really made peace with the question and actually go all out of my way to explain to people how I do end up making money out of what I do. I take it upon myself to pull them out of this unawareness and let people know more about my profession. If reading a blog does interest you, you can go through some of my work at LadyInRoseGold.com
When and How did I actually start making money from Instagram
Like a lot of girls out there, I didn’t have even an iota of an idea how this platform works let alone making money. Read my Blog Post ‘To be or not to be’ to know more about this. I just wanted to post my Outfit Images for the sheer joy of having people follow me and like my images. Little did I realize the amount of hard work that goes into it. Like other bloggers and influencers in the Fashion and Beauty industry I too wanted to attend the latest events and product launches. Money was the last thing on my mind. The driving force behind getting into this was not money or fame, but the excitement to connect with so many people and take my fashion on to a public platform. The idea that wearing and showcasing clothes could also get me paid seemed like a very far-fetched and unreal dream.
But the dream did come true. It was my second collaboration with a brand. I still remember I did my first assignment for a brand totally free of cost. It was for a very well know Sustainable Fashion brand from Mumbai. I was in awe of their designs and just getting a chance to wear their outfits and get clicked seemed like fun. I couldn’t have mustered the courage to ask for a Collaboration fee. But it was my second assignment that actually got me paid. To see which designer I worked with and what did the collaboration look like, check out my work ‘Summer Pastels and Appliques’.
I was into the second Month of my Blogging career, money still being nowhere in my agenda. I get a call from this designer; her manager had seen my Instagram profile and liked the content. I was ecstatic with the little work that I had done being seen, liked, and even acknowledged.
She asked me if I would like to shoot and endorse a couple of outfits from her collection. I had already known of her amazing designs and said yes at one go. She asked me about the charges, and I went silent. I didn’t know if I was even eligible to ask for anything. I told her whatever you deem appropriate. And it was at that time the designer corrected me and rather that was one of the best teachings of my life. She told me ‘to never work for free’. Yes, that’s what she said. No matter how little you charge, but never sell your hard work or your talent for free. That means that you yourself do not consider your work being worthy of getting paid. And that translates into you not believing in your work enough.
“If someone believes in you enough to want to work with you, they should also believe in enough to pay you for your work.”
I still remember those words because they made a lot of sense. For the record, I charged that designer Rs. 8000 as my Collaboration fee and she was happy to pay it. Yes, that was the first time I made money out of Instagram. My second work assignment, 40 days into the work and I made Rs 8000. After that, I made it a point to never work for free. I could charge a truly little amount, reconsider the costs but there should be no shame in working towards earning money. My attitude and perspective towards my work changed. I made it into a more professional set up from there on and never shied away from asking for my work fees.
I have actually come a long way from then. This was in February, 2017. I thank my stars I came across such a learning experience so early on in my career.
So, for all those girls, who have already marched on their journey of being a Digital Creator or are planning to do so, here are a few guiding notes from me to you.
How can you take your passion for Content Creation into a money making profession?
– Always keep the quality of your work superlative. Excellent work does get noticed on Instagram and reputed brands and agencies would reach out to you on their own. It is just a matter of time.
– Being consistent is really important. Treat it like a job and commit yourself thousand percent to create unique quality content. You have to be on your toes all the time.
– Remember it is all about who puts how much of a brain into their content. Your talent and hard work shows and makes you stand out from the rest. This directly translates into the amount of money you make.
– Running sponsored ads on Instagram does fetch you good visibility, but that is only for the time being. It doesn’t really translate into a loyal followership or a long term engagement.
– If your content is really unique and appealing, Instagram would itself promote you better on its platform. They also want to show the most likeable and popular content to their audiences.
– Make a desirable list of the brands that you wish to work with. Strategize accordingly and work towards reaching your goal. You can also write into these brands yourself to get noticed.
– Research about the popular names from the industry. Learn about their struggles and how did they make it so far. Reach out to them. Make a proper growth path for yourself
-You should know exactly about how much to charge and how much would the brands be really willing to pay. Speak to industry experts and chart out a professional Media Kit for yourself. Mention about your body of work and what value addition you can bring to the table.
– Lastly remember, there might not be great money in the beginning, but it is all worth it in the long run. Stay patient and believe in yourself. There is no short cut to it.
Believe me, this platform is a lot of hard work than what meets the eye. Yes, the long term money is good, and you are your own boss. But then also you have to be the one-man-army for all the tasks. The job requires you to wear a lot of hats at the same time. Be an editor, a model, a graphic designer, a photographer, a digital marketeer, and Communications expert, all at the same time.
Make a good team. That really helps. It is not practically possible to manage everything on your own. A committed, passionate talented team would take off a lot of burden from you. Invest in them. I made the mistake of not having a team from the Day one and handled too many things all by myself. One, it wears off your energy and also the quality of work does go down if you are juggling between a lot of tasks, all at the same time.