How to Get Sponsored on Instagram

Everything to know about getting Instagram sponsorships

Many aspiring Instagram influencers want to know how to make money from their accounts. But how can influencers who are just starting out make money with such a small following? There are many well-known influencers that have thousands or even millions of followers. For up-and-coming Instagram influencers, making money from Instagram may seem like a pipe dream.

The truth is, you don’t need a large following to start making money! Instagram influencers can work on a micro-scale with brands willing to sponsor and promote their products and services. It’s easier than ever to find opportunities for Instagram influencers no matter how many followers they have, as long as they post good content.

In this post, we outline what you need to know about how Instagram sponsorships work and how influencers can find opportunities to partner with legitimate brands.

What is an Instagram sponsorship?

If you are not familiar with Instagram sponsorships, let’s review what they are and how they work. What does an Instagram sponsorship look like? Sponsorships on Instagram involve a brand or company that works through an influencer to promote their product or service. Influencer product placements are more personalized to the influencers’ content, as opposed to traditional Instagram ads.

How do sponsorships typically work on Instagram?

There are a few different ways that Instagram influencers can work with brands:

Sponsored posts

Sponsored posts on Instagram are a common way for Instagram influencers to work with brands. With sponsored posts, an influencer creates and publishes content to their account in exchange for some sort of compensation from sponsors.

Affiliate marketing

With affiliate marketing, influencers can partner with brands and earn money by promoting products on their account. Instagram influencers can join affiliate programs and add affiliate links to their accounts. They earn a commission on the sales generated from their Instagram account.

Becoming a brand ambassador

Both companies and Instagram influencers can benefit from a more long-term arrangement with brand ambassadorships. Brand Ambassadors promote a brand in a positive light on a regular basis over a specified period.

Make money as an Instagram micro-influencer

Contrary to popular belief, you can make money from sponsorships with a small following on Instagram. This is known as being a “micro-influencer” which has become more of a trend in recent years. Generally, a micro-influencer is someone on Instagram (or another social platform) who has between 1,000 to 100,000 followers. Companies are willing to sponsor or advertise with Instagram micro-influencers to reach customers on a smaller scale.

Looking for sponsors? We can connect you with hundreds of companies looking to sponsor you and your Instagram profile.

What Instagram influencers need to do to get sponsored

For Instagram influencers looking to get a sponsorship, you need to know the ins and outs of your profile, following, and your brand online. Whether it’s your first sponsorship, or a new sponsorship for more money, here’s what influencers need to do to get sponsorship opportunities.

Cultivate a brand

Getting a sponsorship starts with you. What’s your online brand? Your brand will dictate the types of companies to strike up a partnership. Instagram influencers should have a very good idea of your personal brand, and it should be evident in the content posted on your profile. Make sure the content aligns with what you want your brand to be.

Know your audience

As an Instagram influencer, it's important to know who exactly your audience is. Try to figure out the demographics of your audience -- their ages, genders, and geographic locations; this sort of information will be useful when it comes time to reach out to brands. Additionally, knowing your typical user’s interests and behaviors can be important -- this can help you build audience personas and provide an understanding beyond just quantitative data.

Post content consistently

Being consistent on Instagram is key to winning over a brand sponsorship. Companies looking to sponsor Instagram influencers want to know that you are posting consistently. Be sure to work on the cadence of your posts and create consistent content that represents your brand.

Engage followers

Perhaps one of the most important things is to post content that engages your followers. User engagement can be measured by the number of likes, comments, and mentions on your posts. The content of comments and mentions can also be important in proving that you're engaging your Instagram followers.

Improve your feed appearance

A great way to gain massive exposure is to improve your feed appearance. A user’s Instagram Feed shows photos and videos to users based on what Instagram thinks you care about most. In addition to seeing content from people and hashtags you follow, you may see suggested content relevant to your interests on your Instagram profile. This offers a great opportunity for Instagram influencers to gain more exposure beyond their immediate following and reach people who may not follow them.

Have a substantial following

The number of followers you have will ultimately be considered by prospective brands looking to work with influencers. You should know your total number of followers, but you should also know how quickly your following on Instagram has grown. Be sure to keep track of your following and the rate of growth.

Finding the right sponsor to work with

Part of finding a sponsor is finding the right fit for your brand. For a successful sponsorship, both parties need to be happy and get what they need out of the relationship.

To find the right sponsor, you may want to ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Is the brand trustworthy?
  2. Do you think their product/service is a good idea?
  3. Would you recommend or personally endorse the product?
  4. What’s the brand’s potential budget?

It’s important to find a sponsor who fits your Instagram profile. Finding the right fit can lead to a long and fruitful relationship from which both parties can benefit.

Pitching sponsors

When you’ve found a sponsor that could be a good fit for your profile and there’s a mutual interest, the next step is pitching them. As a micro-influencer, you don’t need to be discouraged about the number of followers you have when pitching sponsors on a partnership. Chances are, the sponsor has done their research and has a decent understanding of your Instagram profile and online brand. This is your chance to connect and pitch to them why you are worthy of being sponsored.

Keep the following in mind when pitching sponsors:

  1. Make it clear that you’re looking to be sponsored by the company.
  2. Identify the marketing objectives the brand may have.
  3. Know your audience and how they view the product and service potentially being promoted.
  4. Value - what kind of value does your Instagram profile provide for a sponsor? Keep this in mind when you pitch to a potential sponsor.

Work out the terms of the sponsorship

When you’ve both agreed that the fit is good and that you'd like to move forward, the final step is to create terms for the sponsorship. The terms of an Instagram Sponsorship should cover the following:

  1. Compensation - the total amount you’re going to get paid.
  2. Payments - How often will you be paid (weekly, monthly, or one-time deal)?
  3. Post Frequency - how often the sponsorship is going to occur.
  4. Content - what type of content will the Instagram influencer be creating to promote the product or service?
  5. Will there be images or videos?
  6. Will it be through Instagram posts, stories, or both?
  7. What about hashtags to use?

Featured Instagram influencer

Bianca Garcia is a food influencer and blogger in the Boston area. In addition to being an influencer, she’s an advertising professional by day.

She writes and posts about her favorite eats, family, being Filipino, and other life musings. Her Instagram account is uniquely equal parts memoir, recipe collection, restaurant reviews, and travel diary.

Her food blog has a great following within the greater Boston area and she is recognized as one of the top Instagram influencers in Boston.

Looking for sponsors or sponsorship opportunities?

Sponsorship marketing is a cost-effective method for companies to advertise their goods and services to targeted, engaged audiences. Looking For Sponsor was created to connect people looking for sponsorships with the companies looking to sponsor them.

Social media influencers, YouTubers, streamers, podcasts, esports teams, nonprofits, and school clubs post their sponsorship opportunities on our website, where companies can discover them and contribute sponsorship money.

Although we regularly feature sponsorship opportunities, you can find even more opportunities (and post your own) by signing up. It's 100% free to browse our opportunities -- sign up today!