How much influencers really earn on Instagram

‘A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message’ - Mark Zuckerberg

Olivia Petter
Monday 18 September 2017 15:03 BST

It’s an irksome truth universally acknowledged that influencers make big bucks on Instagram.

All it takes is one shot of a lithe-limbed, photogenic blogger reclining on a sun lounger, sporting some little-known brand alongside the obligatory tag and #spon.

Depending on their following, this person could be making hundreds from just one, supposedly “candid” photograph.

Feeling mediocre yet?


Beautifully crafted content from all over the globe 🌏. #TopWeeklyContent 🙌✨ #ourTRIBE

A post shared by T R I B E (@tribe) on

You need at least 3,000 followers in order to start making money from your posts, explains TRIBE creator Georgie Cavanagh, who heads up brand partnerships at the influencer marketplace that has represented more than 20,000 influencers since launching two years ago.

So, how exactly does your following dictate your earnings per post?

According to Cavanagh, the typical rate card goes as follows:

3K-10K = $75 – $150

10K-25K = $150 – $220

25K-50K = $220 – $350

50K-100K = $350 – $500

100K+ = $500+

Tribe’s top earners make more than $1,000 (£738) each week thanks to Instagram.

However, most of their “creators” have less than 100,000 followers and so for those with more, their earnings are likely to be even higher.

It’s a good investment too, Cavanagh told Husskie, explaining that brands can now reach 20 times as many consumers by paying a number of ambassadors the same price they once would have paid one.

“Up until now, we’ve been limited in advertising. Having to focus on WHAT is said. Technology now allows us to orchestrate… WHO says it,” she said.

Cavanagh puts the success of influencer marketing down to referral theory.

Social media perpetuates trust between us and the people we follow and therefore when someone we follow offers us a recommendation, it feels personal and is more likely to compel us to making purchases that they suggest.

It mimics the effect of endorsing something to a friend.

Cavanagh also revealed that while the focus used to be on “insta celebrities” with millions of followers, more brands are targeting micro influencers or “everyday content creators” with smaller followings, citing them as “believable” and “relatable.”

Besides, what's more “relatable” than a bikini-clad blogger watching the sunset on a rooftop in Greece at 3pm on a Monday afternoon? #goodvibes

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