Obvious alert: I love Instagram. Even when I don’t get to regularly post my own filter-improved shots of the sky, my super-cute outfit, my colorful dinner salad, or my escapades in nature, I check my Instagram feed on my phone and my laptop multiple times a day. A lot of other folks adore Instagram even more than I do – they’ve successfully made a name for themselves in the photo-sharing community while also amassing a barrage of likes and feedback for their own captivating and cleverly composed shots.
Of course, much like anything that attracts a sizable crowd on the Internet, Instagram soon garnered the attention of various companies with its tremendous potential for business success. It became a tool for brands to connect with their target audience, and with Instagram itself slowly venturing into money-making territory, one can’t help but begin to wonder … how do I get in on the action?
Instagrammers with a loyal following and a knack for taking pretty pictures may consider becoming an ambassador for Snapfluence, a brand-new marketing platform that connects users with a brand that meshes well with their way of life as well as their photo-taking style. While this certainly seems like a profitable gig to have (especially since Instagram is planning to include ads in your photo stream in the next few months), there are other ways to earn a bit of dough for your love of the app (ways that don’t require you to have 1,000 or more users).
If you’re not getting your fill of recognition within the Instagram community, you can get more exposure for your phone photography prowess through Instacanvas. After signing up for an account and granting access to your Instagram profile, you can add any of your existing shots to a gallery that will act as your portfolio. In turn, people who like your photos can buy them in the form of framed prints, greeting cards, phone cases, and canvas art, among other things. After printing and shipping, Instacanvas pays you 20 percent of the sale, equivalent to roughly half of the profit. You get paid through PayPal, so make sure you have an account for that as well. Here’s a peek into how much money you could make from your photos, depending on what product buyers purchase.
The process by which you earn as an “artist slash photographer” on this site is identical to Instacanvas. You import photos from your Instagram stream into an Instaprints account, and through the site collectors can browse through your work and have them plastered on museum-quality prints, framed prints, canvas prints, greeting cards, and more. You also get paid monthly through PayPal. The only difference is with Instaprints, you get to decide how much you want to earn for every single photo in your portfolio. The customer pays for your asking price plus whatever base price Instaprint sets on its products.
This is a free iOS app that works in the same way as Snapfluence. You can scroll through a number of promotions offered by various brands and choose one to participate in, and you can do so by submitting your own Instagram shot that goes with the theme of the campaign and following the requirements set by the company, such as what hashtags to include in your post. Participants are encouraged to vote or like submissions through the app, and winners are determined by the amount of recognition they get from their peers. As a winner, you receive the perk promised, while SnapMyAd hands over your winning entry to the brand, who in turn will use it as an ad for their campaign.
This iOS app doesn’t exactly help you sell your photos to prospective buyers, but it does convert your Instagram influence into “social currency,” which is sort of like free money, right? Although to use this app requires a sizable follower base of at least 500 Instagram users, it’s still more attainable than Snapfluence’s 1K fan count minimum. Once you’re in, you can browse through a variety of deals offered by local business owners, and the types of “freebies” you may receive depends on your Instagram popularity – 500 followers may buy you a free pastry or cup of coffee, while 50K followers affords you a complimentary skydiving experience. Right now, the app is restricted to Chicago, but there are plans to expand to other cities, which you can vote for on the Popular Pays official website.
The prizes aren’t always in monetary form, but joining online competitions collated by this Instagram viewer is a great way to train your brain for the big time. You can sort the contest listing by showing the most recently added first or prioritizing contests whose deadlines are fast approaching.