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How Many Followers Do You Need to Make Money on Instagram in 2021

Do you want to become an Instagram influencer but have not reached the threshold of 10,000 followers yet? In fact, this figure is only a guarantee of the possibility to have a regular income, but it is possible to earn even if your number of followers is much lower. You may wonder ‘how many followers do you need to make money?’. There are active Instagram users with a number of followers under 1,000 who manage to get income. The reason for that is the consideration not only of the number of followers but also several more points. You will agree that the more followers you have, the more you get paid and it is impossible to argue with this fact.

Look: this article will explain to you how many followers are enough to start earning funds on Instagram and how you can do that using your account.

Why followers matters

It goes without saying that followers play the most important role in the growth of your account popularity. If you engage people adding photos, videos, other posts and they are interested in this information, it means that you get a certain amount of impact on them. Followers get used to the person they are subscribed to and consider him or her one to trust. As a result, any pieces of advice are taken for granted and this is exactly the thing looked for by advertisers.

One more reason to in tease the number of followers is, of course, brand awareness. Whether you sell anything via your Instagram account or want to earn money using it, it is natural that the more people see your post, the higher chances for a company or your business to get more leads. That is why there is a tendency to count average influencer earnings per 1,000 followers.

What brands really want?

brands instagram really want
When a new or globally renowned company decides to promote its products or services via Instagram, it is natural that it wants to attract a bigger number of leads. However, it does not mean that they give thousands of dollars to celebrities for posts with links or advertising content. Nowadays, it is much more important to meet the following three requirements:

  • The niche you have taken should be similar to the brand product and services sold;
  • Your engagement rate should be higher than average;
  • The number of followers should be over 1,000.

How many followers on Instagram do you really need to make $1,000+ per month?

If you want to earn as an Instagram influencer by adding sponsored posts, it is preferable to have more than 5,000 followers. However, the amount of this income can be hardly considered enough to stop working. Brands are ready to pay $25-$50 for one post and there are small chances that you will attract enough brands to make weekly posts and get at least $200 a month. However, with a bigger number of followers, your income may be much higher too. It was estimated that an account with 10k-15k followers can easily attract several brands and get $150-$200 per post and earn more than $1,000 every month. For example, an estimate made in the UK says that you need to have 17k followers on Instagram to get an average UK wage. When the number of subscribers hits the 100k threshold, it is possible to get $1,000 and more per each post.

Factors that influence your monetization opportunity

As it was mentioned above modern brands are interested not only in the number of followers nowadays. What is the sense to pay $500,000 per post to Kim Kardashian, for example, if her followers have no interest in cooking or a healthy lifestyle? It is more reasonable to select several accounts close to these niches and with a smaller number of followers and distribute these funds among them but get many more leads.

Consequently, every brand decides a necessary number of followers and it should not be a figure over 10k only. It is much more important to have a high level of engagement, take a niche similar to the sponsor and have a unique style of your account and profile. It is natural that the number of people interested in the organic foods or capoeira is not that high, but the fact that they are united inside one account makes it possible to attract their attention in a much easier way. That is why the key to getting paid on Instagram depends on three significant factors that do really matter.

Your engagement rate

The question ‘how many followers needed to make money on Instagram?’ is no longer actual since most of the brands measure the engagement rate first of all. For example, there are two similar accounts with 7k followers, but one of them can boast an engagement rate of 4-6% which is considered very high, so it is clear which account will be selected by a sponsor.

You can have thousands of followers, but if their engagement rate (comments, likes, posts) is below 1%, your level of impact on your followers is significantly low. Brands look for accounts with a higher engagement rate and studies say that accounts with fewer than 1,000 followers usual have an engagement rate of 8%, while ones with over a million followers – about 1.5% only. It means that a company interested in getting more potential customers via Instagram marketing would devote more time to the search of smaller accounts with a higher engagement rate. The reason for that is the possibility to get more leads and spend less on the advertising campaign.

There are many tools that help to measure the engagement rate of an Instagram account but every person can do that manually too. It is necessary to count the number of likes and comments left on a certain number of posts, divide it by the number of posts and followers and multiply by 100. The average engagement rate of an account with everyday posts is 2-3%, but influencers should put much effort, make an analysis of their posts and statistics to increase this percentage rate.

Your niche

Food influencer Instagram
Have you ever thought about how great social media influences our purchases? In fact, 7 out of 10 people make decisions as for their purchases on the basis of their influencers. Consequently, people unconsciously look for recommendations and you can give them your opinion too.

Whether you enjoy taking care of yourself, know much about cosmetics, wellness procedures, traveling, fashion, cooking, business, and finance, you can give them advice confidently and each time it will be useful, the trust and the number of followers will increase too.

It is natural that the brand selling cosmetics would be more interested in the account devoted to beauty, care, a healthy lifestyle than one raising psychological problems or cooking dishes. It means that brands choose accounts close to their direction, and your account should take a certain niche too. Of course, there are more specific niches and the competition will be lower there too, but you should be ready to the fact that the number of followers to appreciate it will be not that big too. At the same time, such accounts are appreciated by certain brands since they gather people of the same interest in one place.

Your style

Girl and boy smiling
It goes without saying that competition in the influencer market is tough and not everyone can invent something unique and different for others. Therefore, one of the main features of a good influencer account is an exclusive style. How to differentiate it? Well, there are influencers who make focus on photos while others enjoy posting stories and videos. When you take photographs, it is also important to maintain one or a couple of styles that will dominate in your profile. There are people who prefer a certain color scheme or background, while others just follow one theme. In any way, your account should be unique to attract a wider audience.

One more important feature of the exclusive style is being true to your audience. Only those users attract more followers who let them inside their emotions and personal life. This feeling of true nature can be hardly substituted with anything else, so it must be the main feature of your account.

The style of communication with followers also matters greatly. It is not enough to add smiles and funny icons. You should encourage your followers to discuss certain topics and ask questions. Moreover, it is important to give truthful and clear answers to them, so this part of your job can be the most time-consuming one.

How much money can you make

It goes without saying that influencer income depends on many factors and can be hardly called predictable and planned. Of course, if you have an agreement with a certain company about regular posts in your account, you can evaluate your future earnings at least approximately. When it comes to the accounts that have only a couple of thousands of followers, it is difficult to suppose how much such an influencer can get. Is your niche popular enough to attract many brands? What steps do you undertake to cooperate with brands? Giving answers to these questions can help you understand what kind of influencer you are.

One of the main questions asked nowadays sounds in this way: ‘how much money can you earn using Instagram which has 5000 followers?’. If you get an accurate number in response from someone, be cautious since this person can cheat you. The only way to suppose your earnings from Instagram advertising is to be aware of the cost of sponsor posts. An account with such a number of followers can get between $10 and $50 depending on the company and type of post added. If you are lucky to attract several brands with your account, it is natural that you will get paid more. But still, it is important to remember that only some brands advertise their products and services in such accounts, so you should put effort to find and attract them.


In fact, every person can become an Instagram influencer if he or she put some effort and creates an account with a high level of engagement and a couple of thousands of followers. There is no need to wait until you reach 10k followers if you want to get paid. You can start offering your services to the brands much earlier though your payouts will be not so high too.

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