“Instagrammer” Is Now A Six-Figure Job
Social Media Week is a leading news platform and worldwide conference that curates and shares the best ideas and insights into social media and technology's impact on business, society, and culture.
Join us for #SMWONE May 5 - 28, 2020 and hear from 300+ speakers across 150 sessions.
The internet is incredible! Its constant evolution gives people like you and me opportunities to live our lives better: from automating chores and cheap travel to finding our dream jobs by marrying our hobbies to an income – the Internet is our oyster!
With some planning-ahead and a desire to be your own boss, you could ditch your boring location-based 9-6 job and enjoy personal freedom and creativity as a “Professional Instagrammer”, where you could potentially earn just as much, if not more than you currently do with your company.
2015 is the most exciting time to be alive. And will probably be historically significant too. It’s the best time to be an opportunist: someone who sees a creative opportunity, grabs it with both hands and totally owns it while making a handsome living in the process. We live in the world where ordinary people become extraordinary by following their dreams.
Feel like switching jobs? Then read on.
Take Zoe, the UK beauty vlogger, who just bought her first home for £1M at the age of 24. She is said to charge brands £20,000 a month to advertise on her Youtube Channel.
But forget about blogging (or vlogging). Instead of building up a blog, and working for hours on a carefully crafted post or a video that may or may not bring in some advertising, you can now assemble your identity through photos on Instagram, which perhaps takes less effort?
Instagram has revolutionized the way visual story tellers (photographers, travellers, foodies, fitness junkies, yogis etc) showcase their talent, make friends, get fans and earn money. Instead of spending time on building your personal website first and waiting for people to come to you, you can just go to those people yourself. There are more than 300 million users on Instagram (more than on Twitter), all hungry for inspiration.
By becoming an Instagrammer you do not need expensive photographic equipment, all you need is a smart phone with a decent camera and a good eye for details.
However, if you take the average “Professional Instagrammer”, you’ll see that they usually possess some sort of talent (people admire and look up to talented people).
Professional Instagrammers also tend to put their story together in a creative/distinctive way. Your followers crave to see the world through your eyes, they want a different perspective.
Why Instagram is perfect for brands?
Content on Instagram has higher engagement than any other platform, there is no selective timeline or distracting banners like on Facebook and its free.
Companies have realised that one photo on the Instagram account of someone with over 100,000 followers is reaching more people directly than any traditional ad campaign.
Instagram has an amazing sense of community. It is open to everybody and is available in all countries. Brands don’t have to request a friendship first in order to like or comment on photos. This allows companies to get very close and personal to their potential customers.
Brands can work with influencers creating stories around a brand. It’s much easier for brands to gain big reach and try to sell products in a very natural way.
It is clear that a good storytelling often comes with great images, so if you want to your story to be noticed, you better invest some time (and money) to get great shots.
From Nike to the Namibian tourist board, brands and organisations are turning to the most followed users in the pursuit of a broader and younger audience and are willing to pay thousands.
Instagram professionals, who normally started using the app for fun, are now earning six-figure salaries and being flown around the world to take photos to share with their hundreds of thousands of followers.
Professional Instagrammers: who are they?
1) Jen Selter @jenselter – 5.4M followers
Jen Selter was one of the first Instagram stars who got noticed after posting multiple shots of her behind and got so many fans that she (or it) acquired an agent, and shortly afterwards a sportswear endorsement. Her gravity defying bottom is the result of a strict fitness regime.
Looking through her photos you can see why people feel compelled to follow her: an ordinary girl who encourages you to work out for similar results.
The idea is to make you believe that if you spend enough, work out enough, primp enough, that you can be like her. And it works, because she is not a mega star. She is just enough like you for it to look achievable.
2) Liz Eswein @NewYorkCity – 1.5M followers
Liz is one of the most sought after is New Yorker, who joined Instagram just after it launched in 2010 and began posting pictures of her home city under the account @NewYorkCity as a hobby.
For each job with a brand, Eswein demands $1 (64p) per like under each sponsored picture on Instagram, on top of a separate fee based on the number of images she takes. Recent sponsored photos have attracted more than 23,000 likes each. Two scenic pictures taken of the Andes during an all-expenses paid trip generated 19,386 and 20,462 likes.
3) Lauren Bath @laurenepbath – 378K followers
A globe-trotting photographer is funding her travels and turning a profit whilst sharing stunning snaps from around.
A 33-year-old Australian is paid by travel companies for photo shoots and promotion.
Lauren first embraced Instagram when she quit her job as a chef in 2011 to go travelling – around the same time as the Instagram boom was taking off.
Deciding to pursue a career in photography Lauren began promoting her work through the site.
Lauren says: “I won’t work for clients that make demands on my images – I shoot what I love and what I know translates to my style.”
Insta-career in a nutshell
Instagram photography has become a career. It’s taking what a traditional brand or ad photographer used to be and kind of pumping it up because you own and control all distribution now too.
These days social media influencers carry more value for brands than traditional celebrities, because people can relate to them. You are following the story of their lives through their photos, it becomes almost a traditional storytelling narrative, and that’s what people gravitate towards.
On average, if an Instagrammer has a good 100,000 followers and they are consistently putting up great photos that their audience engage with, they can realistically be making between $5,000 and $10,000 a month. Not bad at all!
Write for Us
Interested in sharing your ideas and insights with the world? Become a SMW News contributor and reach 300k readers each month.