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How to Make Money on Instagram Without Followers (Top 6 Methods)

by | Updated on: Aug 25, 2023 | How-To Guides, Social Media | 2 comments

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How to make money on Instagram without followers
How to make money on Instagram without followers

Quick Answer

Making money on Instagram without a significant follower count can seem challenging, but it’s certainly not impossible. Here are some strategies you might consider:

  1. Sell Your Intellectual Property: You could create and sell digital products like e-books, templates, or online courses that share your expertise.
  2. Become a Brand Ambassador: Some companies hire brand ambassadors to promote their products or services. You might not need a large following if you have a highly engaged audience or a unique niche.
  3. Sell Your Images: If you’re a photographer, you can sell your photos to stock image websites or directly to clients.
  4. Dropshipping: With dropshipping, you can start an online store without having to handle inventory or shipping. You simply promote and sell the supplier’s product on your own account, and they take care of the rest.
  5. Sell Your Own Merchandise: If you have a product to sell, Instagram is a great platform to showcase it. This could be anything from handmade jewelry to custom artwork.
  6. Become an Affiliate: As an affiliate, you promote other people’s products and earn a commission for any sales made through your referral link.
  7. Instagram Coaching: If you’re well-versed in the ins and outs of Instagram, you could offer coaching services to those looking to improve their own Instagram presence.
  8. Start an Instagram Shop: If you primarily sell physical goods, setting up an Instagram Shop allows you to integrate your product catalog with your Instagram profile, allowing users to browse and purchase your products directly from the app.

Remember, the key to making money on Instagram, even without a large following, is providing value. Whether that’s through engaging content, valuable products, or useful services, if you can identify what your audience wants or needs, there’s potential to monetize your Instagram account.

6 most effective methods explained in detail to make money on Instagram

Making money on Instagram may look like a daunting task if you don’t have a minimum of ten thousand followers. But Instagram has more than a billion monthly active users (MAUs) and that’s huge, just trying to find out who you are and what you love to offer. 

In this article, we’ll discuss several different options you can make money on Instagram without having a large number of followers.

Instagram for Individuals vs Entrepreneurs 

If you are eager to make money as an individual, your primary goal must be to attract businesses. The only way businesses will give you their money to you due to your influence and impact on their target market. Hence, creating strong relationships and keeping your followers engaged is an essential factor to focus on. 

Now, if you’re a brand your goal should be significantly different. 

Instead of making your content usable for other businesses, you’ll need to get as much as your target audience to interact with your own content as possible. 

But it doesn’t mean you should always spam your audience with targeted ads on Instagram. What really works is making content that’s so creative and innovative that it outshines the contents other related brands are posting. 

Capture and share amazing photos with a compelling story in the description field, or highlight a testimonial of when your product or service helped someone. 

The key to the success on Instagram is consistently creating engaging, compelling, and interesting content that’s relevant to your business’s industry. Create a consistent content flow and take actions to build a strong authority in your industry.  

You can effectively and easily maintain strong relationships with your audience by following some simple steps such as commenting on others’ posts, like other users’ contents, and responding to their stories. 

Related reading: How to increase targeted Instagram followers

How to Make Money on Instagram Without Followers 

Instagram provides a lot of opportunities with over ten thousand followers, but less than ten thousand followers you’ll have lesser tools available for monetization. Nevertheless, you can get started with several options right now. 

Let’s dive deep into each option. 

Sponsored post

This is one of the most common monetization options for influencers. Usually, a business pays you to create advertorial content for the business in the format of a post or story. 

To do this, you’ll need to have a strong engagement rate with your audience. It’s highly important to create advertorial posts only relevant to your niche and industry. If you’re advertising for a sports company and your niche is specifically related to computer software, the sponsored company won’t get any results and you’ll lose your reputation and trust in front of your audience. 

Now, you might be thinking, how do I get businesses to sponsor me when I have a very little audience? 

To be honest, it’s not so hard. 

If you have managed to build a noticeable online presence and a strong relationship with your small audience, chances are small businesses or brands that want to start influencer marketing will reach you first. New start-ups always search for influencers who have a small audience but strong relationships and engagements. And it’s a very powerful method of marketing. 

Promote your eCommerce products

You can own an eCommerce store and make money through Instagram easily. Instagram may help you establish more awareness of your eCommerce products. Your Instagram can be packed with attractive images of the products you’re selling. 

You can also promote your eCommerce products through the image’s bio. You can showcase your flash sales offers or holiday special coupons to grab the users’ attention. You may use your stories to attract more users

Drop shipping products

Like eCommerce products, you can also sell your drop shipping products through the Instagram platform. Drop shipping is a business method similar to eCommerce, but you don’t need to hold any inventory. 

While a customer makes an order, the supplier will send the product directly to the customer’s place. You don’t need to be afraid of any hassles like packing, storing, and shipping the products. 

Due to the flexibility of drop shipping business, most drop shippers prefer to use Instagram as a primary advertising channel as it’s completely free from any risks. You can sell your drop shipping products on Instagram as much as you can without spending any money. 

Sell your own products

One of the great ways to make money on Instagram is selling your own products if you have some. If you have any physical products to sell, congratulations. But if you don’t have any physical product, don’t worry, you can create a lot of digital products completely free of cost and sell your products through Instagram. 

It could be anything like eBooks, guides, reports, and checklists that’s worth it to people to buy. Many eBook creators promote their eBooks exclusively on Instagram. You’ll need only a small website to display your products and receive payments. 

You can sell your products by tagging the products in an image on Instagram. You should give access to all the details of your products including price in these posts to the users and make sure you provide a link through which users can purchase the product. 

Sell your own services 

You can make a lot of money by selling your own services through your Instagram account. Your services can be anything such as personal training, consulting, teaching, and many more. 

Most of the knowledge businesses are run from home and even don’t have any company or website. These small businesses mainly use social media such as Instagram to attract new clients. 

Though Instagram is a crowded place for this type of business, you can easily stand out in the crowd if you can offer better services with cheaper prices at the starting level. Once you have a few clients, then you can ask for referrals and you’ll have a continuous flow of clients. 

Be an affiliate

You can become an affiliate for several different businesses and brands and earn a commission on each sale you make. Affiliate marketing is a great way to make huge money on Instagram nowadays. Affiliate links are trackable links and often seen on the Instagram platform. 

The difference between influencer marketing and affiliate marketing is that an influencer typically tries to increase brand awareness. On the other hand, an affiliate focuses on getting clicks on the links to make sales. 

Create engaging and compelling posts in order to draw the attention of your audience and tell them in captions that they will find the products’ links in your bios. 

Many businesses will accept you as an affiliate if you have strong engagements with your followers. Try to work with small companies with a lesser commission at the starting level and gradually grow your affiliate business and then work with bigger companies with higher commissions.  

The downside of social media marketing  

Though you can make good money on Instagram, it’s not a great idea to become 100 % dependable on any social network.  

With social media, you never know when the network might be banned in your country or the popularity of the platform may crash due to any reason. Besides, you’re not the owner of your account and you might be penalized or even blocked at any point of time for any reason.

This is why most social media influencers create backup plans to protect their future. You may consider diversifying your audience from Instagram to your personal email list. 

Related reading: Email marketing guide

With an email list, you own 100 % of your list and it’s a permanent asset. You don’t need to worry about penalizing and banning policies of other platforms. And more importantly, emails have the highest engagement and conversion rates on online marketing

What you can do with your email list 

The scopes are countless. You can send mails to your audience about your blog updates, let them know about upcoming season discounts and sales, update them on new product launches, and many more. 

If you want to build a continuous revenue stream in your affiliate marketing business, you should send your subscribers valuable and problem-solving content rather than always promoting something to sell. Remember, you can thrive in your affiliate business only if you sell solutions rather than products. 

How you can grow an email list from Instagram 

There’re a lot of tricks and tactics to getting your Instagram followers to join your email list. 

You should obviously consider including a link to your website in your Instagram bio. Without a link, your audience can’t know where to go to get your content. Once they click your website link, you can get them to land on a landing page with a clear call to action to sign up for your email list. 

Or you can land them on your blog posts and capture leads with several ways like welcome mats, pop-ups, and more. You can also use a content lock feature to gate your blog articles or other contents. 

Final words 

These are only a few methods to make money on Instagram without having a large number of followers, but there’s also a lot more options you can leverage to make money on Instagram. You’ll need to explore the maximum number of opportunities so that you can choose a few according to your passion and expertise. 

I Hope you love this guide and if you want to learn all the digital skills to make money on Instagram or any social media, you can consider joining our digital marketing course which can help you learn all the digital skills in the most possible over-the-shoulder manner. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any further help.

Tags: instagram
Author:- Debajyoti Banerjee is the Founder, Director & CEO of Seven Boats - A leading digital marketing agency & digital marketing training institute in India since 2011. He is a TEDx Speaker, Google & LinkedIn Certified Digital Marketer & Trainer, Brand Strategist, Consultant & Entrepreneur. B. Tech in computer engineering & post graduate diploma in Marketing, Debajyoti has 18+ years of domain experience and successful track records in digital marketing services & digital marketing training with 500+ clients & 100K+ students in 165+ countries. He has been invited & felicitated by 25+ Top B Schools & universities including London Business School, AICTE ATAL FDP, UGC-HRDC, IIM Shillong, IIM ROHTAK, IIT KGP, IIT Guwahati, Calcutta University, Ranchi University, St. Xavier’s, Brainware, Techno India, JIS Group, Jaypee Group, Shikshayatan Foundation, IIEST Shibpur, Bhavan’s, ICFAI Business School, GITAM Deemed University, Swami Vivekananda Group of Institutions & many more. He has been awarded with more than 20 national awards and he has received notable media coverage. Learn more



  1. Ground Cyber

    Reputation is also most important.

  2. Soham Dasgupta

    This one of the best and most helpful blogs on Instagram ,I will definitely implement these tips


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