If you’re one of the 2 billion users on Instagram, you know just how powerful this platform can be. Not only is the app a place for connection, but it’s also a tool that can help you make money online. For creators looking for ways to earn some cash on the social media platform, consider getting started with the Instagram Subscriptions feature.
Wondering what Instagram Subscriptions are? Read on to learn more about the in-app monetization tool, and how you can start earning recurring monthly income with it.
What are Instagram subscriptions?
First launched in 2022, Instagram Subscriptions offer a new way for creators to monetize their content and provide more value to their audience. With Instagram Subscriptions, creators can put a paywall up in front of exclusive content, creating an exclusive community while building a sustainable revenue stream.
What are the features of an Instagram subscription?
You’re probably wondering, “What kind of content can you put behind a paywall on Instagram?” Here are just some exclusive features that only paid subscribers can access:
A great way to build relationships with your most dedicated fans, Subscriber Chats allow you to directly connect with your community. Use this feature to host exclusive Q&As, share life updates with your subscribers, or just create a space for cozy hangouts.
Subscriber Chats only last 24 hours, after which they’d become read-only. However, you can have as many chats running simultaneously as you want.
This feature allows you to create Stories just for your subscribers. Marked by a purple ring, these Stories can be used to provide exclusive content, host giveaways, or even share a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on in your creator business.
Exclusive Reels and posts
Yes, even the regular content you create on Instagram can be made exclusive for subscribers! All you need to do is hit Share with subscribers only when you’re preparing your posts. That way, only those who’ve subscribed to you will see them.
Subscribers will get a special purple badge icon next to their username, distinguishing them from other followers. This is a brilliant way to give your subscribers recognition and make sure they know they are valued. This will also help them stand out to you, so if they send you messages or ask questions, you can answer them quickly.
Going live has all the advantages of a Subscriber Chat, except your subscribers can actually see you and interact with you in real time. Through these exclusive livestreams, you can share anything from your morning routine or a chatty “Get Ready With Me,” to your workout or unboxing streams.
What are the benefits of launching your own Instagram subscription?
So, now that you know what Instagram Subscriptions are, how do you decide whether you should put in the extra effort to create your own? Well, consider some of these benefits.
It could help you build a new income stream
As a creator, it’s important to diversify your revenue streams in case any of it is impacted or has a slow season. That means not putting all your eggs in one basket. So if you have the ability to start an Instagram Subscription, it’s a good idea to try it out and see how much income you can make from it.
It could help you build a tight-knit community
It’s not all about the money. Depending on the size of your following, it can be tough to really feel like you’re connecting with your audience. With Instagram Subscriptions, you can cultivate an exclusive and intimate community where you can be more transparent and authentic.
It could help you grow your creator business
While money isn’t everything, let’s not kid ourselves: it’s certainly a big part of being a creator. Building a community with Instagram Subscriptions isn’t just great for bonding with your followers, but it’s also a smart business move. Depending on the kind of content you put behind your paywall, you can create promotion channels for products or services you’re selling.
Let’s say you specialize in food and cooking content. Your free content can come in the form of recipe Reels, while your Subscriptions can give your audience the chance to ask you direct questions, or join you in cook-a-long livestreams. Through these exclusive content, you can also promote your e-cookbook or other products that you sell on an external platform.
Instagram Subscriptions slot in with your content so naturally that it’s hard to argue against starting one.
How to launch your Instagram Subscription
Excited to get going? Here are a few things you need to know before you start your own subscription.
Keep in mind that you need to meet the following eligibility requirements before you can use Instagram Subscriptions. You must:
- Have a Creator or Business Account on Instagram.
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Be based in the U.S.
- Have at least 10,000 followers.
- Abide by Instagram’s Partner Monetization Policies and Content Monetization Policies.
Currently, Instagram Subscriptions are available to all eligible creators in the U.S. If you’re based in Canada, Australia, or the U.K., Subscriptions are available on an invite-only basis. For creators located in other regions, watch this space for further updates on this feature.
How to set up your Instagram subscription
If you’re eligible for Instagram Subscriptions, follow these steps to set up your own:
- Start from your Professional dashboard and hit the gear in the top right.
- Next, hit Subscriptions.
- On the next screen, hit Get Started.
- Now, you’ll be able to set the monthly price for your subscription. There’s a calculator at the bottom of the screen that helps estimate your potential monthly earnings based on your number of followers.
- Tap Publish and then Create. Once you’ve enabled Subscriptions, your followers will see a notification in their activity feed and on your profile to subscribe.
How much can you charge?
Instagram Subscription prices are preset, but you can choose from a wide range of pricing options based on your preference. The options are $0.99, $1.99, $2.99, $4.99, $9.99, $19.99, $49.99, and $99.99.
But how much should you charge? That depends on your audience, your niche, and how much exclusive content you’re willing to offer. If you’re going to put in a ton of extra work for your subscribers, then it makes sense to charge one of the higher price points.
How to receive payouts
To receive Subscription payments, first, you need to make sure you’ve add a payout account to your Instagram account. Here’s how you can do that:
- From the Professional dashboard, hit Payouts.
- Go to Update payout method.
- Choose the kind of payout account you want to connect to your account. You can add a bank or PayPal account.
- Follow the prompts to finish setting this up.
Note that you’ll have to earn at least $100 before you’re able to receive your first payout.
How to get followers to subscribe
When you turn on Instagram Subscriptions, your audience will see a Subscribe button on your profile. Here’s how easy it is for them to subscribe:
- Visit the creator’s profile and click Subscribe.
- They will be directed to a page detailing the pricing and benefits of the Instagram subscription.
- Click Subscribe to proceed.
- Review payment terms in the popup and click Process Payments.
You can — and should — include a link to subscribe within your Instagram Stories using the Subscribe button and include instructions in your bio. Check out these tips for other ways to add links to your Instagram bio.
4 tips to grow your Instagram Subscription
So, now that you’ve started your Instagram Subscription, how do you make sure it’s a reliable income stream? Here are some tips that may help.
Get the pricing right
Choose a reasonable price point for your subscription. You don’t want to ask too much from your followers, but at the same time, you need to be able to make a profit.
Instagram Subscription prices range from $0.99, $1.99, $2.99, $4.99, $9.99, $19.99, $49.99, to $99.99. It’s crucial to consider what content you’ll provide, your goals, and what type of followers you want. For instance, selecting a lower price point for your subscription may get you more subscribers, while choosing a higher price point will help you create a more exclusive community.
Don’t be surprised if you have to make changes to your pricing down the line. Even the biggest companies can sometimes struggle to set the right prices.
Create quality content consistently
Focus on creating quality content. Make sure your exclusive content is worth paying for, and that you’re offering something of value to your subscribers. Be sure to post consistently, as subscribers will expect regular content with a predictable schedule.
Collaborate with other creators
One great way to make your content feel more exclusive is to share collaboration content that only your subscribers can get access to. Partner with other creators or influencers in your niche, and offer to give them access to your subscribers through a collab. To return the favor, you’ll probably need to participate in their content, too.
Focus on building relationships
Subscribers are there because they truly want to show support to you and your content. They spend money to listen to what you have to say and see what you share. It’s important that you nurture relationships with your subscribers and give them the best experience possible.
What other ways can you make money on Instagram?
Of course, Instagram Subscriptions are just one of the many ways you can make money through Instagram. If the monetization feature isn’t available to you yet, consider exploring the following options:
Many brands partner with Instagram creators to promote their products as part of an influencer marketing campaign. Typically, the creator and the brand will negotiate and agree on a set rate per sponsored post.
Affiliate programs are a popular way for Instagram creators to earn money through the app. As an affiliate, you’ll earn commission from brands when a product or service you promote is purchased by your followers.
Go live with badges
Instagram’s Live badges feature allows creators to monetize their livestreams. When you go Live with badges, your followers can buy badges to support you and earn you money.
Sell merch or physical products
If you have fan merchandise or physical products to sell, you can promote them on your Instagram profile, and use Stories and your link in bio to direct customers to your web store.
Sell digital products
You can use Instagram to promote and sell digital products such as ebooks, templates, or courses. Unlike physical goods, digital downloads require relatively little investment to create and can be sold repeatedly, without the hassle of inventory and shipping logistics. Since you don’t need to spend more money producing more units, you can expect higher returns than selling physical products, with a profit margin that improves over time.
By creating engaging and sharable Instagram content, creators can effectively advertise and encourage sales of their digital products. Make sure to direct your followers to a link for purchasing your digital download, whether in your bio or Instagram Stories.
Not sure what to sell? Get 3 tips for picking a product that’s right for you with our free digital product launch checklist.
Start earning with Instagram Subscriptions
Instagram Subscriptions are just one of many ways to earn money through Instagram. With a strategic approach, you can build an engaged following and generate more revenue from the platform. Take advantage of the many features Instagram Subscriptions have to offer, and experiment with new ways to monetize your content.
Looking to make your first $100 as a creator? Check out our free guide to reaching this crucial milestone!
Are there any restrictions on content for Instagram Subscriptions?
Yes, there are restrictions on what type of content you can share. The content must be exclusive and cannot contain nudity, hate speech, spam, or illegal activities. Also, subscription accounts must create a minimum of one post per month.
Can I change the price of my Subscription anytime?
Absolutely! All you need to do is go to Subscription Settings and hit Monthly price. There, you’ll be able to change the price of your Subscription. Keep in mind that any subscribers who signed up before you changed your price will continue paying the same amount. Only new subscribers will pay the new price.
Where can I view my earnings from Instagram Subscriptions?
Instagram will send you PDFs of your earnings every month. You can also see and download 2-3 months’ worth of invoices through the Payout settings option in your Professional dashboard.
Are Instagram Subscriptions the best way to make money as a creator?
That entirely depends on what you mean by “best.” One of the biggest advantages of Instagram Subscriptions is that they create recurring monthly revenue for not that much extra work. But there’s a drawback: you’re still dependent on Instagram. That’s why some of the best ways to make money on Instagram involve doing something other than creating content on Instagram.
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