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How Many Followers Do You Need to Be An Influencer

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While the question as to the number of followers you will need to become an influencer is common, there isn’t a direct answer to the question. There are several things that brands will look at when deciding whether or not they want to work with or sponsor an influencer and the number of their followers is just one metric.

Influencer marketing is a broad industry and companies will be looking for different types of personalities when it comes to building brand awareness. While some will be looking to work with a celebrity influencer, others will look for an Instagram influencer with relevant content to their industry.

That being said, this post will go over a few things brands will look for when working with someone, the various “levels” of influencers, and how much you might expect to be paid at those levels. 

How Many Instagram Followers Do You Need to Earn as an Influencer?

Typically, influencers won’t start working with brands or earning sponsorship income until they reach 1,000 or more followers. As they grow, the amount they could earn per post or video will increase based on their size, viewer engagement, and niche. Many factors play into which influencers a brand may want to work with. 

Follower count isn’t always the main focus of a particular brand. Some are also willing to focus on building relationships with the right Instagram influencers so that they can conduct future collaborations (sponsored posts with the right hashtags, etc). Not every company is looking for celebrity endorsement or is as concerned with how many followers you have as others would be.

If you want to work with a brand, but are not sure what they are looking for in a social media influencer, send a well-written inquiry to their influencer marketing department. No matter how they respond, conduct yourself in a professional matter so that you can keep the door open to working with them in the future.

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What Brands Look for in an Influencer

It is true that influencer marketing reps will look at how many followers you have when deciding whether or not they want to work with you and how much they will pay. That being said, there are several other things they will consider, including the following: 

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    Follower Engagement

    If your followers are actively engaged with your content, a brand may be more interested in working with you than they would be an influencer with a larger, but less interactive, following. They may measure influence on how your followers interact with you.

    Many influencer marketing departments also know how to spot fake followers on an account and will scour your social media platforms to see if you are following the terms of each platform.

    While some micro-influencers want to take these shortcuts so that they can potentially land a sponsored post, a large number with low engagement could hurt your metrics overall.

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    Niche and Content

    Brands are more likely to work with you if your content relates to their products or services in some way. That is because they know that you target the same social media followers as they do.

    Because of this, many influencer marketing teams are willing to overlook some mega influencers to work with micro-influencers who share the same niche or passion.

    Unless you want to work with big brands (who will most likely be looking for an Instagram influencer with more than a million followers), you may be able to land a sponsorship based on your interests.

    Most brands will look for influencers with similar accounts when they launch an influencer marketing campaign. Keep every Instagram story clear and on-niche and you will likely be able to get a sponsored post about related content.

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    Brands that are not able to afford to work with large influencers will likely seek out smaller accounts to work with due to them being more affordable. That being said, you should know the typical rate that influencers charge based on how many followers you have on your account. Not every influencer marketing rep will quote you a fair price off the bat.

    While your follower count will be an important metric on setting the price, a company may also look at your overall engagement. A popular influencer in a niche is more likely to promote a product better than one who has gained followers over the course of several years but doesn’t connect to them as well.

    Take a good look at your social network and your overall strategy so that you have a realistic understanding of where you stand. Remember to also consider your other social media accounts and not just your Instagram account. Some sponsors may be willing to pay you more if you can promote their product on other platforms as well.

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    Multi Social Media Accounts

    Even as a micro-influencer, if you have many social media accounts that reach a specific audience in a niche, some businesses may still pay you to create a related post on each to showcase their product or feature.

    To grow across platforms, many social media influencers will connect their accounts through Linktr.ee or another application. That way if followers want to support them in other ways, they can.

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Influencer Categories

When discussing following sizes, Influencers are typically broken down into four different categories; nano influencers, micro-influencers, macro-influencers, and mega influencers. Each type of influencer has its own pros and cons in the eyes of brands.

Additional information about each of these types of social media influencers includes the following information:


    A nano influencer is a person who has between 1,000 to 5,000 followers on their social followings in a particular niche. As they have smaller followings, they can typically be more one-on-one with their interactions which creates a stronger bond with their audience. 

    While nano influencers don’t have as far a reach as larger influencers on their social platforms, good influencers with lots of enthusiastic engagement can be a great asset for a brand.

    How Much Do Nano-Influencers Earn?

    If you are a nano-influencer, your rates will vary depending on their niche and the number of followers you have, but may look like the following:

    • Facebook: between $25 – $250 for a post
    • Instagram: between $10 – $100 for a post (may charge more for a video)
    • TikTok: between $5 – $25 for a video 
    • Twitter: between $2 – $20 for a tweet
    • YouTube: between $20 – $200 for a feature on a video

    Micro-influencers typically have between 10,000 to 100,000 followers in a specific niche. They have typically learned how to create good content that has a wide appeal. They can generally stay up with a decent amount of engagement and are likely to continually grow. 

    By the time that a micro-influencer has reached this level, their audience will typically start to see them as someone knowledgeable in their industry. They are more likely to listen to what these influencers will say about a product or service related to the niche. 

    How Much Do Micro-Influencers Earn?

    If you are a micro-influencer, your rates will vary depending on their niche and the number of followers you have, but may look like the following:

    • Facebook: between $250 – $1,250 for a post
    • Instagram: between $100 – $500 for a post (may charge more for a video)
    • TikTok: between $25 – $125 for a video 
    • Twitter: between $20 – $100 for a tweet
    • YouTube: between $200 – $1,000 for a feature on a video
  3. Macro Influencers

    Macro Influencers are brands or people who have more than 100,000 (some may be in the millions) followers but are still not considered to be household names. They will typically land deals with major brands to showcase products and services.

    Since a macro-influencer will have less interaction with their communities, the percentage of followers that interact with the marketing will be less, but the number of people reached will be much higher. 

    How Much Do Macro-Influencers Earn?

    If you are a macro-influencer, your rates will vary depending on their niche and the number of followers you have, but may look like the following:

    • Facebook: between $12,500 – $25,000 for a post
    • Instagram: between $5,000 – $10,000 for a post (may charge more for a video)
    • TikTok: between $1,250 – $2,500 for a video 
    • Twitter: between $1,000 – $2,000 for a tweet
    • YouTube: between $10,000 – $20,000 for a feature on a video

    Mega influencers tend to be celebrities outside of social media. Many of these influencers can have tens of millions of followers across their accounts and are very influential even if they don’t interact with their audience much. 

    Celebrities who are known for a specific niche will tend to earn more by promoting that niche on their Instagram bio and other social media accounts.

    How Much Do Mega-Influencers Earn?

    If you are a mega-influencer, your rates will vary depending on their niche and the number of followers you have, but may look like the following:

    • Facebook: more than $25,000 for a post
    • Instagram: more than $10,000 for a post (may charge more for a video)
    • TikTok: more than $2,500 for a video 
    • Twitter: more than $2,000 for a tweet
    • YouTube: more than $20,000 for a feature on a video
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Tips to Growing as an Influencer

While you should also research how to grow on specific social accounts, there are a few things you can do overall that will help you grow your influence over time.

Whether you are an Instagram influencer or you are big on Twitter, knowing how to create relevant content on different platforms can help you earn more when you work with companies.

Implementing some of these into your social habits can help you find your target audience and grow to the point where you can earn more from spreading your influence: 

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    Brand Strategy

    Take your time building out your brand strategy. Know your target audience and what you want to represent and what that looks like for you. Choose graphics and write your bio with your brand strategy in mind so that you can create attract your target audience through your content. 

    Your strategy will need to change based on your audience and your platform of choice. If you are an Instagram influencer, you wouldn’t post the same thing as you would on other accounts. While it may all be related content, remember that your audience has followed each account for a different reason.

    Most influencers who are successful will weigh every aspect of their strategy with all their new posts. Whether you post to Instagram or another site, you will want to always remember where you are headed.

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    Research the best hashtags and keywords for your niche and use them wisely. When people are searching for new people to follow, they will use words related to their interests. Make sure to use the right number of tags for each social media platform. 

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    Post at Regular Times

    Make posts several times per week on each platform. Take your time when crafting them and try to pick the best times to post them overall. Check your analytics regularly to see which times work best for your audience and adjust over time. 

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Influencer Followers – Quantity or Quality?

When brands look to work with influencers, they will often consider both the quantity of the quality of the influencer’s following as well as the general purpose of their campaign. If a brand is simply looking for awareness, they are more likely to go with an Instagram influencer who has a lot of followers over one that has a stronger relationship with theirs.

On the other hand, many brands have seen more transactions when using a smaller influencer who has a stronger relationship with their community. If a brand wants to increase sales, they may use a different strategy to target specific customers for a specific product they want to push.

It is important for you to know where you stand and where your value lies so that you can express it to potential brands who want to work with you. Look to create a media kit that can showcase the stats and qualities of your brand that you can show to sponsors who reach out to you.

As you continue to grow as an Instagram influencer, more brands will reach out to work with you. Make sure you choose those that align with your own brand’s values and that you love. If your followers sense that you have sold out for a product you don’t actually care about, they are less likely to engage with your posts in the future.