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How much do Instagram influencers really make?

The battle for likes is still raging on Instagram. And with a growing number of influencers out there, the market is more competitive than ever

Published: Jul 23, 2021 02:21:49 PM IST
Updated: Jun 20, 2022 04:14:44 PM IST

How much do Instagram influencers really make?Image: Deagreez / Getty Images

The battle for likes is still raging on Instagram. And with a growing number of influencers out there, the market is more competitive than ever. But how much money can an influencer really make? A survey from HypeAuditor reveals some surprising figures.

With perfect posts, magnificent wardrobes and gifts galore... on Instagram, the daily lives of influencers are filled with the stuff of dreams. Yet, behind this outward success, how much money are they really making? HypeAuditor conducted a survey of 1,865 Instagram influencers, asking them about their income, their workload and time invested, as well as their main sources of income. Of them, 45.74% were women and 28% were age 25-34.

Average monthly income nears $3,000
The first key takeaway from HypeAuditor's report is that half of the influencers surveyed (48.5%) say they make money from their Instagram account. On average, an influencer earns $2,970 per month. However, there are significant differences in income among accounts, notably depending on the number of followers. Micro-influencers (between 1,000 and 10,000 followers) make an average $1,420 per month. Mega-influencers (more than one million followers) make $15,356 per month.

Still, among holders of accounts with between 1K and 10K followers, only 22.99% report making money, compared to 68.75% of accounts with 500K to one million followers.

Differences were also seen in relation to the influencers' fields of expertise. The average influencer makes $31 per hour, but a beauty specialist will earn double that, with $60 per hour, a record across categories (in relation to the time spent on maintaining the account). Some superstars can reap as much as $187 per hour. Overall, the categories making influencers the most money are animals, business and marketing, and fitness and sport.

Less than 5% live on their Instagram income
Nevertheless, only 4.27% of respondents say they live solely on their Instagram income. On average, these influencers earn $5,912.8 per month from their account.

With the covid-19 pandemic, 47% of influencers surveyed say they earned more money. However, the pandemic has also had downsides, with 49.68% of influencers surveyed reporting seeing more fraudulent activity.

In order to grow income via Instagram, the study showed that brand promotion remains the most important source of revenue among influencers, at 40.15%. Meanwhile, 14.92% of influencers promote affiliate programs using their accounts. Over on TikTok, influencers will soon be able to make money by creating custom content like shoutouts.

Finally, influencers spend an average 24 hours per week managing their accounts (posts, creating Stories, chatting with followers, etc.) This average rises to 28.7 hours per week for Instagrammers who make money from their accounts and drops to 20.9 hours for those who do not.

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