Becoming an Instagram model can be a rewarding career -- you’ll get an opportunity to share your modeling across the world and interact with other successful people in the industry. And you get to do it all completely at your own pace without having to seek out an agent.
But to reach that level, you’ll have to dedicate a lot of time to Instagram, which may mean relying on it as your full time job. That brings up the question: how much do Instagram models make? With the number of influencers and models growing every day, you’re likely curious just how much you can earn.
The short answer is: it depends. The Instagram influencer market is worth about $2.38 billion, but not all of that wealth is distributed evenly.
How do Instagram models make their money?
Before we talk about how much money you can make as an Instagram model, it’s important to understand how Instagram models earn their money.
It’s all about the sponsored post. Businesses and brands will pay for Instagram models to post with their products or travel to certain destinations to take specific photos -- it’s no surprise why it’s a sought after job! Some brands will pay hundreds of dollars for a single shout out, while others pay thousands.
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Why do some Instagram models make more money than others?
Some Instagram models seem to make significantly more money than others. How much money you can make as an Instagram model depends on a few different factors:
- How many followers you have
Your follower count is the biggest predictor of your earning potential as an Instagram model. The larger your following, the more you’ll get paid to promote a product or fashion line. This is a pretty standard business model for Instagram as the brand will want to use a model that can give them the largest reach.
We’ll get more into follower count in a later section!
- Your niche
Depending on your style, your network, and your interests, you’ll be modeling within a certain niche. Different niches naturally lend themselves to different earning potentials.
For example, if you’re a high fashion model working with high-end brands or luxury jewelry, you’ll likely be compensated in high-value items or with a larger amount of money. Other niches may have lower payouts, but are less competitive and easier to find success within.
If you already have modeling experience, you probably already know what niche you are comfortable and strong in. If modeling is new to you, however, you’ll want to do a little research and explore the different
- Your level of influence
Are you a household name like Hailey Bieber or Gigi Hadid? If so, you’re likely to have a lot of influence over your audience.
While most people aren’t known on a global scale like those ladies, successful Instagram models are all pretty well known within their niche. That allows you to better communicate with your audience and be more convincing of what you’re modeling. When brands know you have a loyal following and a high level of influence, they’ll likely compensate you more for your work.
Your level of influence is most determined by your follower count -- which circles us back to talking about followers. Let’s get more into that...
Estimated earning potential
Now that you have a point of reference for what could potentially impact your earnings as an Instagram model, it’s time to set some expectations. You’ve probably been reading this whole article and thinking to yourself, “okay, but where are the NUMBERS?!”
Well here they are! After analyzing as many Instagram models’ accounts as we could get get our screens on, here’s what we can tell you about how much money you could make:
- Fewer than 10,000 followers: Instagram models can typically start earning a decent amount of money when their accounts surpass 6,000 followers. So if you’re under the 10k follower count, don’t worry, you can still earn some cash! With this type of following, you can expect to earn an average of $88 per post.
- Between 10,000 and 100,000 followers: Models above 10k followers are attractive to brands because you can utilize the “Swipe Up” feature in Instagram Stories and link directly to their products. With a following this size, brands will begin to seek you out for modeling opportunities, instead of the other way around. Models in this range can typically earn about $200.000 post, depending where they fall within the range.
- Between 100,000 and 1 million followers: There’s an unspoken guideline that models with more than 100,000 followers can charge $10 per every 1,000 followers they have. Once you have more than 500,000 followers, you’ll likely be able to earn up to $650-$700 per post.
- More than 1 million followers: Here’s where the sky is the limit. If your follower count is in the millions, and you’re a verified account, you basically have the liberty to charge whatever you want. For example, Kylie Jenner (the highest paid influencer on the Internet) makes an average of $1 million for every sponsored post.
High earning Instagram models to follow
One of the best ways to find success as an Instagram model is to learn from the best. Here are some accounts to follow for inspiration:
Kylie Jenner (@kyliejenner)
Followers: 147 million
Engagement Rate: 2.3%
Earning per Post: $1 million+
Content: Luxury fashion and beauty
Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian)
Followers: 149 million
Engagement Rate: 1.1%
Earning per Post: $900,000
Content: Beauty, cosmetics, wellness
Danielle Bernstein (@weworewhat)
Followers: 2 million
Engagement Rate: 1.1%
Earning per Post: $15,000
Chiara Ferragni (@chiaraferragni)
Followers: 16 million
Earning per Post: N/A; it’s known she earns about $8 million per year
Wendy Nyugen (@wendyslookbook)
Followers: 1.1 million
Engagement Rate: 1.8%
Earning per Post: N/A; it’s known she earns about $1 million per year
Content: Fashion and lifestyle
By no means is this an exhaustive list -- it’s just a place to start. Take a look at these accounts, who they follow, and who interacts with their posts for even more inspiration.
Remember, it takes a lot of work to be a successful Instagram model. But with the right tactics and enough persistence, you can work to be the next “it” account!