Instead of paying money for a commercial to be placed in the middle of a television show that most people will end up streaming on their laptops with ad-block anyway, companies have started to reach out to social media influencers. Instead of running traditional commercials most people ignore out of habit, companies have realized that users will pay close attention to what their favorite Insta-celebrities post about because they value that person’s opinion.
How do Instagram models make money?
Sometimes, companies will choose to pay hundreds of dollars to have their product mentioned in a specific post. Other times, they will pay thousands for multiple posts mentioned over a series of time. When this happens, it is fairly obvious that the person is being paid to talk about a certain product. They might even add a hashtag about a sponsorship at the end of the post in order to be completely transparent with their audience.
However, other times, an influencer’s relationship with a company is less obvious. A popular makeup brand might send an influencer a free product, like a contour kit or an eyeshadow palette, and ask for a review in exchange. Other times, an influencer might take photos of themselves wearing a pair of brand-name sunglasses or carrying a designer pocketbook and add it to their feed.
Some Instagram models are even sponsored by companies so they are able to travel to a certain destination or attend a certain event and snap photographs while they are there. They literally get paid to travel the world and take cute pictures of themselves.
Even though some people might find it ridiculous that internet celebrities are getting paid thousands of dollars for doing such a (seemingly) small amount of work, it makes sense that our generation is shifting from traditional advertisements to sponsored social media posts.
Since 90% of Instagram users are younger than 35, and the average user spends almost an hour scrolling through the app per day, it is the perfect place to market to millennials and gen X — especially since they spend more time watching Netflix (which is absent of commercials) than traditional television where ads would be seen.
Gabrielle Epstein, a 21-year old model, admitted that she makes more money from posting a single selfie than she would from working for a full week as a ‘regular’ model. With over 100,000 followers and up to 25,000 likes on each photograph, companies pay her to endorse their products because they know the posts will be viewed by a large audience.
The more followers someone has and the more engagement they receive on each post, the more money they can ask companies to pay them. However, the exact agreement is up to the individual person, because there are no set rules.
Danielle Bernstein, a model with over one million followers, charges between five thousand and fifteen thousand dollars per post. However, there are other models who ask companies to pay them one dollar for every like their post receives in addition to a payment upfront.
The best thing about Instagram modeling in comparison to ‘regular’ modeling is that an agent does not necessarily have to be involved. The model can negotiate on her own, which means a percentage of her earnings does not have to be taken away from her and given to her agency. She can keep everything she has made for herself. Of course, she also has to style herself and light herself and edit herself once the photograph is complete.
Instagram modeling is not as simple as it appears — but it can make people more money than you ever imagined.