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Achieng Agutu in green blouse poses with hands near face

Achieng Agutu has earned more than $1 million as an influencer.
Daniel Martinez
  • Influencers on Instagram earn money in many ways and dozens shared with us how much they make.
  • From sponsored content to getting tipped on IG Live, creators balance several streams of income.
  • Learn how an Instagram influencer earned over $1 million in her first full-time year.

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Instagram and influencers go hand-in-hand. 

The Meta-owned social-media platform has become a primary stage for influencers launching their careers.

Those careers can take off quickly. For example, the 26-year-old influencer Achieng Agutu, who had about 488,000 Instagram followers when Insider interviewed her, earned over $1 million in her first year as a full-time creator.

Check out how Agutu earned over $1 million from brand deals in her first year

Influencers don't need tons of followers to start earning money on Instagram. As more brands turn to smaller creators like "nano" or "micro" influencers with under 100,000 followers, establishing a full-time career as a creator is no longer a pipe dream.

Typically, influencers rely on sponsored content to make money. From posting a picture to the main feed with #ad to sharing swipe-up links in a series of stories, sponsored content takes on many different shapes.

Rates for these types of brand deals also vary.

For instance, Nate White, a comedy creator who had 340,000 Instagram followers when Insider interviewed him, had a base rate of $3,000. Meanwhile, Jour'dan Haynes, a nano influencer, told Insider she can earn up to $600 per post.

To land on these rates, some influencers rely on formulas like charging brands $100 for every 10,000 followers. But not everyone agrees on one formula. 

Each deal has to also account for an influencer's following, engagement metrics, and niche, as well as deal terms like exclusivity, usage rights, and timing.

But if influencers negotiate well, brand deals can lead to big paychecks. For instance, one influencer with 275,000 followers told Insider she had booked $700,000 in brand deals in six months. And two micro influencers told Insider they earned six-figure yearly salaries as full-time creators.

Sponsored content, however, isn't the only income generator for these influencers — although it is generally the most lucrative.

Influencers on Instagram can also earn commissions on affiliate links, profits from selling merchandise, and proceeds from monetization tools Meta has introduced. One influencer who spoke with Insider made an average of $5,000 per month through affiliate links alone.

Instagram is even testing an ad-revenue sharing program that lets creators earn money for high-performing reels on the app.

Other platforms, like Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok, have similar programs for short-form video formats. YouTube also shares ad revenue with creators for longer-form videos through its Partner Program.

Insider has spoken with dozens of Instagram influencers about how much money they charge brands for sponsored content and how else they make a living using the app. 

Here's a comprehensive breakdown of Insider's cover on how much money Instagram influencers make:

How much money Instagram influencers make from brand deals

Many influencers earn money on Instagram by working with brands on sponsored content.

In 2022, Instagram launched a test of its Creator Marketplace, which connects brands and influencers directly on the app. Although the feature has received mixed reviews from creators in its first year of testing, Meta introduced more features and partners in 2023.

While other influencer marketing has a presence across the social media ecosystem, Instagram is still where a bulk of deals are inked, according to a recent report by influencer marketing firm Mavrck. Rates are also higher on Instagram compared to platforms like TikTok, the report found. 

Read 5 takeaways from a recent report on influencer marketing

So how much money are individual influencers making on Instagram?

44 Instagram influencers told us how much they charge for and have earned from sponsored content. Here's a full breakdown of our coverage, in order of follower count at the time of interviews:

"Macro" and "Mega" influencers

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  • Alexa Collins, a lifestyle influencer with 1.2 million followers
  • Nate White, a comedy creator and fashion designer with 340,000 Instagram followers (1.8 million on TikTok)
  • Jenna Barnard, a food blogger with 285,000 followers
  • JaLisa Vaughn-Jefferson, a lifestyle influencer with 275,000 followers
  • Rahan Alemi, a lifestyle and fashion influencer with 200,000 Instagram followers (385,000 on TikTok)
  • Katy Bellotte, a lifestyle influencer with 176,000 followers
  • Natasha Greene, a food and lifestyle creator with 137,000 followers
  • Jessica Ufuoma, a travel influencer with 128,000 followers
  • Joel Bervell, a medical school student and content creator with 118,000 Instagram followers (475,000 on TikTok)
  • Matt Upham, a tech content creator with 113,000 Instagram followers (522,000 on TikTok)
  • Macy Mariano, a travel and fashion influencer with 102,000 Instagram followers

Micro influencers

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  • Kara Harms, a full-time lifestyle blogger and influencer with 77,000 Instagram followers (283,000 on TikTok)
  • Jehava Brown, a travel and lifestyle influencer with 70,000 followers
  • Nick Cutsumpas, a plant influencer with 63,700 followers
  • Jon Seaton, a college football star and creator with 58,000 Instagram followers (1.8 million on TikTok)
  • Jade Darmawangsa, a YouTube creator (382,000 subscribers) with 52,000 Instagram followers
  • Emma Cortes, a lifestyle influencer and podcast host with 47,000 followers
  • Ashley Jones, a fashion and lifestyle influencer with 45,000 followers
  • Tomi Obebe, a lifestyle and fashion influencer with about 40,000 followers
  • Makenzie Steele, a college athlete and track star with 40,000 followers
  • Diti Goradia, a fashion influencer who works a full-time investment banking with 34,000 followers
  • Aisha Beau Frisbey, a lifestyle creator with 34,000 followers
  • Chris Guerra, a comedy creator with 32,900 Instagram followers (760,000 on TikTok)
  • Britney Turner, a lifestyle influencer with 27,000 followers
  • Symphony Clarke, a TikTok creator (200,000 followers) with 26,000 Instagram followers
  • Maesha Shonar, a creator with 22,800 followers
  • Alexa Curtis, a lifestyle influencer and entrepreneur with 20,000 followers
  • Mary Margaret Boudreaux, a lifestyle influencer with 20,000 followers
  • Manasi Arya, a Gen-Z artist with 19,000 followers
  • Tejas Hullur, a personal finance creator and entrepreneur with 12,000 followers (500,000 on TikTok)
  • Reni Odetoyinbo, a personal finance and lifestyle creator with 14,000 followers
  • Gigi Kovach, a part-time lifestyle blogger and mom of two with 13,500 followers
  • Tyler Chanel, a sustainability influencer with 12,000 followers

Nano influencers

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  • Khadijah Lacey-Taylor, a fashion and lifestyle influencer with 9,800 followers
  • Julie Tecson, an influencer and talent manager with  7,100 Instagram followers. 
  • Paulina Perez, a lifestyle influencer with 7,000 Instagram followers
  • Jour'dan Haynes, a lifestyle creator with 5,900 Instagram followers
  • Tess Barclay, a lifestyle blogger with 5,600 followers
  • Jack Betts, a college athlete with around 5,500 Instagram followers
  • Laur DeMartino, a nano influencer and full-time college student with 5,200 Instagram followers
  • Jalyn Baiden, a nano influencer with about 4,000 Instagram followers
  • Stacy Kim, a travel and fashion influencer with 3,400 Instagram followers
  • Jen Lauren, a part-time lifestyle influencer with 2,900 followers
  • Amber Broder, a part-time skincare influencer and full-time college student with 2,300 followers

How Instagram influencers earn money beyond brand deals

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From earning a commission through affiliate links to getting tipped by followers on an Instagram Live, there's a host of supplementary sources of income for creators on Instagram. 

How much money do influencers make by promoting links or selling their own products?

Affiliate marketing

Influencers use platforms like LTK and ShopStyle to generate affiliate links or discount codes provided by brands to earn a percentage of sales. (Read more about the top affiliate platforms for influencers.)

Adding these links just got easier, too. In 2021, Instagram released the ability to add link stickers in Stories to all users — regardless of the follower count or verification status. Instagram now lets users include up to five links in their bios, too.

The platform also began testing native-to-Instagram affiliate marketing tools for influencers in 2021, but later shut down the program during the summer of 2022.

Read more:

  • Bethany Everett-Ratcliffe, a lifestyle micro influencer with 16,000 followers, makes money using affiliate links
  • Vi Lai, a skincare influencer, uses Instagram and TikTok to make thousands of dollars per month using affiliate marketing

Using Instagram's suite of monetization tools

Since 2020, Instagram has announced several monetization features for creators. Although the platform's ad-revenue share program for ads played on IGTV (which rebranded to "Instagram Video") came to an end in 2022, creators have turned to reels as a way to earn money. 

Meta has an entire entourage of executives dedicated to helping creators on the platform, including monetization.

In May, Meta announced that it would begin testing a new ad-rev share model on Instagram reels with a select group of creators. Instagram announced it was ending its "Bonuses" program for reels a few months prior.

Creators can also make money on Instagram by receiving "Badges" or "Gifts" (tipping features for Live and Reels, respectively), launching Instagram Subscriptions, and selling their own merchandise or products in-app.

Read more:

  • How Instagram's unpredictable changes are giving influencers whiplash

  • How to make money on Instagram: 6 ways creators are getting paid in 2023

  • 11 influencers reveal how much money Instagram and Facebook paid them for Reels

Selling courses, direct-to-consumer products, and merch

Influencers can sell their own products and merchandise directly through Instagram's shopping features, or leverage their audience to promote their own brands, DTC products, coaching services, or online courses.

Some influencers, like Huda Kattan, go on to found brands that are worth millions — or even billions — of dollars.

Read more:

  • How an astrology creator earned about $64,000 in five months selling courses and coaching sessions
  • Creators are making big money teaching online courses. Here's how a travel influencer made $1 million in sales.
  • How a philosophy Instagram account makes six figures selling digital wallpapers and calendars
  • How much money two influencers earned last year selling bucket hats, hoodies, and other merch
  • A micro influencer self-published a book and used Instagram to drive sales
  • An Instagram star who has sold $35 million of her own products explains how she built her fashion line
  • The most valuable brands started by influencers, including some worth over $1 billion

Reselling clothing

Resale apps like Poshmark, Depop, and Etsy have become lucrative small businesses for many Instagram creators. 

Read more:

  • Poshmark clothing resellers are becoming Instagram influencers to drive thousands of dollars in sales and land brand deals


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