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How to Make Money on Instagram for Freelancers

May 20, 2023
(updated: May 17, 2023)
Max 5 min read

In this day and age, there are numerous social media platforms just waiting for your freelance business. From Facebook Marketplace to Pinterest Pins, the options are endless. This includes Instagram. Although the most popular image-sharing platform globally, freelancers and small business owners are often unaware of the highly powerful internal Instagram marketing tools and how hashtags alone can increase your brand’s outreach and grow your business.

Do you want to promote your freelancing business on Instagram? You've come to the right place! Here at Indy, we aim to help freelancers with every aspect of the job. In this article, we will go through the basics of marketing on Instagram and the different internal marketing features, as well as tips on how to grow your audience and develop your brand as a freelancer.

Benefits of Using Instagram as a Freelancer

Still not convinced? Here are five advantages to incorporating Instagram into your marketing strategy.

1. Instagram is a still growing platform

With 1.3 billion monthly users and counting, Instagram is a growing platform—more people are starting to use it. There is no limit to the success a business can achieve with a focused Instagram strategy.

2. Makes your business relatable

Instagram is an excellent platform for demonstrating to potential clients that you are more than just a faceless company.

One of the most popular video trends circulating the web in 2023 is a behind-the-scenes video for small businesses (packaging videos, product creation, drawing time-lapse, etc.). Instagram is a great platform to highlight your brand's individuality.

3. A great platform to partner with other brands and Instagram influencers

Influencers are high-level, powerful social media users who have large followings. An influencer may boost your company's sales by increasing digital marketing ROI and sharing with audiences you wouldn't otherwise target.

When you work with an Instagram influencer to sell your product, they may reach thousands, if not millions, of people with only a few articles.

4. Increase your brand's visibility with Instagram users

One of Instagram's most useful tools is hashtags. Starting out as a new business or freelancer, competition is high. However, by using hashtags correctly, you can distinguish your company from the crowd.

5. Engage with Instagram followers, customers, and clients

The major purpose of a business' social media marketing is to engage its audience, and Instagram is an outstanding engagement medium. With Instagram, you can engage with customers or clients on a daily basis by asking them to share feedback and opinions.

Are You Eligible for Instagram Monetization?

Before we go into the different ways you can earn money through Instagram as a freelancer, let's first take a look to see if you are eligible to use Instagram's built-in monetization tools—including ads!

Instagram business account

First, consider opening a business account for your Instagram account. Here are six benefits of using a business account on Instagram:

  1. You can access your Instagram insights
  2. Add a contact button to your profile
  3. Your business name and links will display on your profile
  4. You can add links to your Instagram stories
  5. You can run ads on Instagram and promote posts
  6. You are able to verify your age

There is no charge to use a business account, and no fees unless you run ads.

Commerce eligibility requirements

Instagram is owned by Facebook, which means there are some criteria you must follow in order to market your business on Instagram. The guidelines are the same as Facebook's and are as follows:

  1. Instagram community standards - These are the platform's fundamental guidelines, such as no graphic or dangerous content.
  2. Partner monetization - These regulations apply to your whole profile (including your own profile), as well as the information you generate, how you distribute it, and how you accept and make online payments.
  3. Content monetization - These are content-level guidelines that apply to all of your posts, such as no violent or vulgar content.

How to Build Your Audience as a Freelancer

Most of Instagram's marketing tools are internal and designed to help build your Instagram profile and increase brand awareness—both of which are incredibly useful for developing more customers and finding clients.

Because of this, it's important to consider building some kind of audience before making full use of Instagram's marketing features.

Here are a few tips on how to build your Instagram audience while making money as a freelancer.

Define your target audience

Ask yourself the following questions about the people you're attempting to reach:

  1. Where do they live?
  2. What do they do for a living?
  3. When and how do they engage with Instagram?
  4. What are their problems and obstacles?

The answers to these questions will help you create content that will connect with the Instagram users who are most likely to follow you. They will also assist you in delivering consistent material that will keep your audience interested in the long term.

Use keywords

People must first find you on Instagram before they can follow you. However, not all of the text on Instagram is searchable. On Instagram, only two fields contribute to search results: name and username.

Your Instagram handle is your username. It should be consistent with the handle you use on other social media accounts and networks, as this helps people locate you. Use your brand name or a variation of it that people are likely to search for when looking for your brand.

Post shareable content

Your target audience wants to interact with information that is both practical and inspiring. So, when planning your posts, consider the types of content that others might want to share.

People enjoy sharing infographics. Feed that desire by sharing your professional knowledge with your followers. When someone embeds one of your Instagram posts in their blog, you have access to a whole new audience of prospective followers.

People can also re-share a sponsored post on your Instagram Stories. These posts are clickable, so anyone interested in learning more can go to your original post. It's another simple technique to reach out to new audiences and possible new followers.

Post stories

People who use Stories are very involved. Furthermore, you can use the hashtag and location features in your stories to reach out to people who do not already follow you.

Use relevant hashtags

Using hashtags properly might be an excellent strategy to gain free Instagram followers. You may even make your own custom hashtags.

Hashtags will help in the discovery of your content. Hashtags can also be followed by Instagram users. This implies that your hash-tagged material might display in the feeds of individuals who don't yet follow your account.

In an Instagram post, you may use up to 30 hashtags, but don't go crazy.

Avoid hashtags like #likeforlike, #tagsforlikes, and #followme. These may provide you with a temporary increase in followers. But those people aren't interested in what distinguishes you and your content. They will not assist you in developing a significant, engaged Instagram audience.

Instead, concentrate on choosing hashtags related to your content, product, or business.

Ways to Make Money on Instagram as a Freelancer

Now that we have covered the basics, let's take a look at the different ways you can monetize your freelancing business through Instagram.

Promote Offers

Use Instagram to highlight all of your company's outstanding qualities, especially while you're offering a deal. Posting a discount, promo code, or special offer on Instagram not only advertises a deal to your followers, but it also makes the information easily shareable.

Set up an Instagram Shop

Along with regular posts, your shoppable products or services will appear in the news feeds of your followers. Hosting an Instagram store is also a wonderful approach to give speedy customer support to those who utilize social media.

Customers may learn more about your brand by messaging you or commenting on your postings.

When you post pictures of something with a buyable item, the small shop symbol appears on the post, letting visitors know that it's for sale.

Product tags enable you to highlight goods from your catalogue directly in your pictures and videos—including feed, reels, tales, and product mentions in your profile bio or feed text—so that visitors can simply touch on a tag and discover more.

Use product tags in your ads to increase the reach of your shopping posts. You may create them in Ads Manager or enhance existing shoppable Instagram posts.

How to set up Instagram shops

Here are three steps to setting up an Instagram shop:

Make sure it is right for your business:

  • Review Instagram's Commerce Eligibility Requirements to make sure you are eligible to sell your products and comply with their policies.
  • Your business must have its own website domain. Your shop products must be available for direct purchase from your website.
  • Check to see if your business is in a supported market.
  • Your Instagram profile must be a business or creator account. If you don't have one already, make sure to set one up!

Pick a tool to start the process: You can opt to join Instagram Shopping by creating a shop in Commerce Manager or another compatible platform. Alternatively, you can begin directly within the Instagram app.

Fill in your details in Commerce Manager:

  • First, select a checkout method for how you want your customers to complete their purchase (such as PayPal or bank transfer).
  • Next, decide whether you want to sell your products on Instagram, Facebook, or both.
  • Connect your existing product catalogue or create a new one to add products to your shop.
  • Finally, review your business and submit it for review on Instagram!

Businesses using Instagram checkout may also promote an impending exclusive release, allowing consumers to preview information and set reminders to buy as soon as it becomes available.

Currently, only available for eligible US businesses.

Affiliate Program

It is possible to generate money by selling other people's products. Affiliate programs are a popular way for Instagram users to make money.

Affiliates make money by using a trackable link or promotional code, which allows you to observe which articles resulted in purchases.

Create intriguing material to sell your items without being intrusive. Because your Instagram bio can only contain one link, you may wish to redirect your affiliate link to a landing page.

Make it plain to readers that they can purchase the items by clicking on the link in your bio at the bottom of each piece.

How to approach brands and write effective proposals

Most freelancing professions are very competitive, and a solid proposal might be the difference between closing the transaction and rejection. 

Here are a few tips for writing an effective proposal.

Write a cover letter

The cover letter is not required to be included with the proposal, but it is a fantastic place to start once you've located a potential customer and they've encouraged you to make a proposal. 

Cover letters are frequently the first thing a prospective customer reads. These letters are brief and concise, and they should provide clients with a thorough understanding of who you are and how you do business.

Create a title page

The title page's content is straightforward: It includes your name, the name of your client, and the title of your proposal. The page should be professional and inform the client that they are about to read a document produced by an expert on the proposals topic.

Include a table of contents

Include a table of contents unless your proposal is only a page or two long (and some brilliant proposal designs adopt this simple approach).

Give a brief overview with an executive summary

An executive summary is simply a setting for the remainder of the proposal. Introduce yourself and provide a summary of what the reader may expect in the coming sections.

Outline your proposal

After the executive summary has been completed, it is time to move on to the details. This is where you outline your proposal to the customer, including deliverables, dates, and specific duties. Consider this your job description—this is precisely what you'll be doing for the client.

Finishing off

To finish off your proposal, make sure to include:

  • A detailed pricing list so your client knows how much your services cost and how much they pay you for various parts of the task.
  • An "About Me" section—concentrate on what distinguishes you, and explain how you perceive a relationship between yourself and the client's project.
  • Add any testimonials and reviews (if deemed necessary) to show proof of previous experience with similar projects.

Use Instagram Ads

With accurate targeting and actionable analytics, use Instagram to advertise your business and reach your future customers and clients. Boost any post to transform it into an ad, and your Instagram analytics will show you how much of a difference the boost made.

There are several types of Instagram ads, including:

  • Image
  • Story
  • Video
  • Carousel
  • Collection
  • Explore
  • Shopping
  • Reels

How to set up Instagram ads

There are two ways you can set up Instagram ads—through Instagram, or through Facebook.

Internal Instagram ads are boosted posts. To do this, you'll need to promote one of your previous posts. This is comparable to Facebook's Boost Post feature.

If a post is performing well in terms of interaction, promoting it within the app is a quick and easy way to scale up the post's success—and display it to new individuals who aren't already following you.

To achieve this, you'll need an Instagram business or creator account. You must also have a Facebook Business Page linked to your Instagram account. 

To set up through Facebook, you'll need to create a Facebook ad. Here's how:

  1. Choose your objective - To select the best ad objective, ask yourself, "What is the most important outcome I want from this ad?" It might be more sales, app downloads, or brand exposure.
  2. Choose your target audience - Narrow your audience down by selecting age, gender, location, and interests.
  3. Choose where to run your ad - In this step, you need to choose Instagram.
  4. Set your budget - This can be a daily or lifetime budget.
  5. Choose an ad format (such as photo, or in-reel).
  6. Submit your ad for review.

Put your business in the spotlight on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Audience Network with advertisements that reach your target audience on any device.

How Indy Can Help

At Indy, we aim to make freelancing simple. There are several ways Indy can help with the day-to-day running of your business so you can focus more of your time on marketing and building your brand on Instagram.

  • Our Calendar app allows you to easily schedule meetings, track time, and see your deadlines. It also syncs with your Google Calendar, so you can keep up to date with everything!
  • Our Tasks app helps you easily manage all of your tasks. Filter, search, and pin your tasks on visual boards and lists that also connect with your calendar.
  • Indy easily interacts with hundreds of your favorite apps to automate your workflow, allowing you to get more done in less time via Zapier, a no-code automation tool that lets you connect multiple tools. Zapier links Indy to the applications you currently use, allowing you to streamline and automate your workflow.

No matter the industry, Indy can help you manage your project all on one platform. Sign-up now and try it for yourself!


Instagram is one of the most popular image-sharing online platforms globally. Instagram can increase your business' presence and exposure to potential clients and customers, as well as help develop strong relationships with your audience, clients, and customers. From hashtags to built-in monetization tools, there are numerous ways to earn money through Instagram and set your business up for success from day one!

Planning on using Instagram to collaborate with brands and increase your business’ exposure? Check out our guide How to Write An Influencer Contract for a step-by-step breakdown!

Get started today!

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