How much money do Instagram models make?

We hear about Insta models everywhere, and it seems like the number of fashionable influencers is growing every day. However, most people don’t know exactly how much their Instagram following is worth. If you monetized Instagram and started calling yourself a model – how much could you earn?

Entrepreneur and global personality Kylie Jenner makes an average of $1 million for every sponsored post on her Instagram. She’s the highest-paid influencer on the web, according to the 2018 Instagram Rich List. Following Kylie is celebrities like Selena Gomez ($800,000 per post) and Cristiano Ronaldo ($750,000 per post).

It’s no wonder the influencer market is worth around $2.38 billion.

Of course, it’s not just major celebrities earning big bucks as Instagram models. Even “micro” influencers can make a fortune if they have the right number of followers.

Here, we’re going to answer the question of “How much do Instagram models make?” and help you to calculate your own earning potential.

How Do Instagram Models Earn Money?

Before we get into the numbers, you might be wondering how monetized Instagram accounts work in the first place. Instagram modeling is quite a mysterious career for people who haven’t explored it before.

The main thing that you need to know is that Instagram models make their money through sponsored posts. Sometimes, businesses and brands will pay hundreds of dollars just to have their product mentioned in a single post. Other times, organizations pay thousands to have their products displayed over a series of shout-outs.


Usually, when a model is being sponsored for a post, it’s relatively obvious. They may even add a #Sponsorship hashtag to their content to be as transparent as possible with their audience. Other times, the influencer may genuinely like the company, and showcase their product as naturally as possible.

Some Instagram models are even sponsored by businesses to travel to new destinations around the world and take pictures while they’re there. Models get to travel the world, try out the latest product and get paid for doing it – it’s easy to see why it’s such a popular job.

Instagram Models vs. Regular Models

If you’re wondering: “How much do Instagram models make?” you might also be interested in how their income and lifestyles compare to that of “traditional” models. Ultimately, Instagram has a massive amount of earning potential attached to it. This year (2019) ad revenue is close to the $10 billion mark, and it’s continuing to grow.

Since younger generations are spending more time on Instagram than watching TV these days, models have more influence online. According to Gabrielle Epstein – a well-known Insta model, she can make more money posting a single #Selfie than working an entire week as a traditional model.

When, like Gabrielle Epstein, you have over 100,000 followers and 25,000 likes on every post, you earn the attention of companies looking to connect with customers. Danielle Bernstein, a model with over 1 million followers, charges up to $15,000 per post.


Perhaps the best thing that separates Instagram models from “regular” modeling is that they don’t have to waste their money on agents. With a monetized Instagram account, models can negotiate their own fees and expectations. Of course, that means styling and lighting photos on your own, but it’s much easier to do that today than it once was.

How Much Do 5 Instagram Models Make?

Now we come to the crux of our discussion: How much do Instagram models make.

Ultimately, there’s no simple answer to that question, as different models charge specific amounts based on their background, their influence and more. However, one thing you should know is that the value of Instagram posts is increasing. Some of the top Instagram creators easily earn millions each year. Let’s look at some of the biggest contenders.

1.      Danielle Bernstein

Danielle Bernstein is an influential clothing designer with more than 2 million followers on Instagram. She earned her initial fame with her blog “We Wore What.” As the blog became more popular, Danielle launched her Instagram account to bring her vision to life. Today, she’s one of the most famous fashion models in the world, earning an average of $15,000 per post.


2.      Chiara Ferragni

Chiara Ferragni is one of the best-known Instagram models of all time, and she’s been on the social media channel for longer than most. With around a decade of experience, Chiara has earned over 16 million followers, and you can see an amazing transformation in her posts over the years. On average, she gets about $8 million per year, although she doesn’t share information about her income per post. Chiara also has her own fashion blog called “The Blonde Salad.”


3.      Wendy Nyugen

Wendy is one of the most impressive Instagram models on the web – and she’s far more than just a pretty face. Wendy graduated from UC Berkeley with a major in psychology, and she’s a major influencer on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook. She created a video named “25 ways to wear a scarf,” and it went viral in a matter of days.” There’s not much data about Wendy on the net, though experts say she earns about $1 million per year.


4.      Candice Swanepoel

Candice Swanepoel is a South African model who made her way into the top-10 of Forbes’ list of top-earning models in 2016. Since then, the CEO and fashion expert has continued to gain an impressive following. She earns a little over $3 million a year with her incredible sponsored posts and collaborations with other Instagram models.


5.      Bella Hadid

Bella Hadid is the youngest Hadid sister (the older is Gigi Hadid). She takes part in multiple Instagram modelling campaigns online, working with the likes of Michael Kors and Ralph Lauren. According to Forbes, Bella earns anywhere in the region of $6 million per year, with 23.4 million followers supporting her.


How to Calculate Instagram Earning Potential

The earning potential of Instagram models shows that you don’t have to be a traditional “celebrity” to earn an income on Instagram. Plenty of influencers with 3,000 followers or more can get paid a lot for their contributions to the site.

When it comes to the question “How much do Instagram models make?” there’s no single answer. However, at the moment, experts suggest that you can calculate your potential income by looking at the number of followers you have. For instance:

  • Micro-influencers (Up to 10,000 followers): Micro influencers with a monetized Instagram account can charge brands anywhere up to $60 per post if they have at least 3,000 followers. The more followers you have, the more your earning potential grows. Some influencers with 10,000 followers can make closer to $120 per post.
  • Larger influencers (Between 100,000 and 1 million followers): Since major influencers, today tend to have millions of followers, those with between 100,000 and 1 million fans can’t quite be called macro influencers. However, these people can earn a significant amount. Starting with 100,000 followers can get you about $400 per post.
  • Macro influencers (Over 1 million followers): If your Instagram follower count goes into 6 digits and beyond, then you can start to make some real money. With more than a million followers, Instagram models charge thousands of dollars per post. For instance, Cara DeLevigne has over 40 million followers and makes over $100,000 per post.

How to Create a Monetized Instagram Account

Feeling jealous of all these Instagram models with their amazing earning potential?

We can’t blame you.

The good news is that there’s still space for new models on the Instagram scene. Plenty of new and upcoming influencers are already earning cash by promoting the swag of their favorite brands. All you need is a strategy and a commitment to growing your following.

Here are some of the steps you’ll need to take if you want to join the ranks of the Instagram models.

1.     Define Your Style

If you’ve decided to become an Instagram model, you’re going to need a basic interest in beauty, clothes, fashion or photography. The best models have their own distinct sense of style. Some focus on high-fashion clothes, while others appreciate more laid-back, urban attire.

There are 2 million monthly advertisers on Instagram, so you’re sure to find a sponsor that meshes with your preferred trends. By clearly defining what kind of Instagram model you want to be from day one, you make sure you’re attracting the right people to your portfolio. For instance, look at Gigi Hadid and her wide range of high-fashion images on Instagram. You’re unlikely to see her chilling in an unbranded tracksuit anytime soon.


2.     Create a Portfolio

Just because you’re not sending photos to a modeling agency doesn’t mean that you don’t need to follow the rules of any other model. You’ll need a portfolio to show off your sense of style and give people an insight into the kind of look you have to offer. Before you can create a monetized Instagram account, you’ll need to focus on building a diverse and engaging portfolio.

Look at other models like Josephine Skriver for inspiration. Browse through her photos, and you’ll find not only high-fashion shots, but also nature shots, and pictures of her having fun with her friends. This is the kind of diversity you need to show to potential investors and sponsors.


3.     Gain Followers

Gaining followers on Instagram is easier said than done. However, you came here wondering: “How much do Instagram models make?” and as you may have discovered – it all depends on your follower count. Sometimes, quality content is enough to help you gain followers. However, you’re probably going to need to know some marketing tricks too. For instance, you could build up excitement for posts with count-down stories or track the best time to post on Instagram by watching when your customers are online via Instagram Insights.

If you’re struggling to earn much attention fast, then there’s plenty of tools out there that you can use to improve your chances of growth. Options like Later allow you to schedule your Instagram posts so that you can take advantage of your follower’s most active times. Solutions like Sprout Social mean that you can track the performance of each of your posts and concentrate on creating the best content for your followers. Even options like Upleap give you a dedicated account manager you can use to build your following a bit faster.

Avoid making the mistake of buying your Instagram followers. Most sponsors will check to make sure that their Instagram models don’t have any fake accounts in their following before they invest.

4.     Post Stories and Videos

Instagram models are the masters of #Selfies. However, there’s nothing that says you have to stick exclusively to photos when you’re developing your presence on Instagram. In fact, the more you’re willing to experiment with different ideas and formats, the more likely you are to earn the right attention.

Remember, when Instagram first introduced video, more than 5 million were shared within 24 hours. If you can showcase your versatility with video content, then you’re sure to attract a broader range of sponsors. Remember, even how-to videos where you talk your followers through your make-up routine, or Q&A sessions are enough to encourage greater engagement.

The more likes and comments you get on your posts, the more valuable you become. For instance, check all the slideshows and videos available on Cindy Kimberly’s Instagram page. As one of the youngest Instagram models out there today, she’s still earning a killing.

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5.     Engage with your Audience

Finally, if you want to make the most out of your monetized Instagram account, then you need to be willing to connect with your target audience. This means trying to engage regularly. Posting isn’t enough anymore – not until you’re as famous as Kylie Jenner, anyway. When you’re just getting started, you’ll need to show off your personality and treat your followers like “friends” rather than fans.

There are plenty of ways to boost your engagement with your audience, including:

  • Posting live videos where your community can ask you questions about your style, your fashion tips and more.
  • Creating Instagram stories with stickers and polls where people can give their opinion on your latest outfit or makeup choices.
  • Running competitions for a chance to win something on your page – like a free makeup pallet
  • Responding to comments and likes: When someone says something about your photo – say thanks! Everyone loves recognition

Rise of The Instagram Models

Instagram models might have started off as nothing more than people who knew how to “find their light” and use the right filter. However, today, these professionals are true artists, capable of attracting the attention of millions of people.

With a monetized Instagram account, Instagram models have the potential to earn huge amounts of cash and transform the fashion industry while they do.

Do you have what it takes to join their ranks?