MY GUIDE TO SPONSORED INSTAGRAM POSTS.

By Polly Florence - September 04, 2018


Today's post is a little bit different– I've never written about or shared something this chatty or in depth about a topic before–but it's been something I've been wanting to talk about & I'm glad I've finally gotten around to sitting down and writing it. Making money on social media feels like a bit of a taboo topic at times but I've always tried to be as transparent as possible when it comes to what I'm posting about and getting paid for online, so I wanted this blog post be my guide or my experiences so far with sponsored/paid Instagram posts. 

Instagram has become an amazing place for creators and businesses to work together and for some it's become a part time or even a full time job. Obviously it's not going to be for everyone, I know there's people out there that would prefer Instagram stay an #ad free place but if you do love creating for Instagram and would love the chance to work with some brands, how do you go about it? I asked you over on my Instagram story if you had any specific questions about sponsored posts and a lot of you did so I'm going to do my best to include the answers here...



When did I start receiving products or making money on Instagram? I had been posting on my (mainly book focused) Instagram for about a year before any companies offered to send me products, by that time I had around 10k followers and I was over the moon that some publishers wanted to send me free books to post about! Fast forward to almost a year later, in January 2017, and now with almost 50k followers I did my first paid post. I honestly found it amazing to believe that not only was a company willing to send me a free book but they were also going to pay me to post about it, I never expected anything like this when I started my account and sometimes I still find it hard to believe, it's been a bit of a whirlwind but I absolutely love it when I get the chance to create content for a brand and share the reasons I love them with my friends on Instagram! 


my first sponsored post (Jan 2017) / my most recent sponsored post (Sept 2018)

What do #ad or #sponsored really mean? I wish I could give you an easy answer, it generally means that the post has either been paid for by a brand or that the content included a product that has been sent with direction of when it should be posted or direction over what the post should include. However, it can be quite complicated as each country has different laws when it comes to what an creator has to include on their post when it includes advertising. For example in the UK, by law, you have to include the hashtag #ad or #sponsored if you're being paid for the post or if the brand you're working with has specified when you should post or have had any influence over the photo or caption. But that's not necessarily true for people outside the UK. When I was researching more about which hashtags to use, this post from BookishBronte really helped, so I'm linking it here!

When is it okay to start approaching brands? Do you have to have a certain number of followers? As I mentioned above, I had been doing Instagram for two years and had reached around 50k followers before I did my first paid, sponsored post. One of the things I know now, from experience, is that if I had wanted to, I could have been making money on Instagram long before that point, but to me, at the time it didn't even seem like a possibility– I thought I would have to have hundreds on thousands before brands and companies would even think about paying me to advertise their product–it's not true!! Lots of brands and companies look at more than the number of followers you have when requesting to work with you, many of them will take into account your creativity, your engagement levels etc as well as the amount of followers you have.



Do you reach out to brands to work with them or do they contact you? With all but one of my sponsored posts they have come about through brand reaching out to me and I feel very fortunate that I've managed to work with some amazing companies that way. But if you haven't received any emails or DM's from brands wanting to work with you and that's something you want then feel free to reach out to them! There's obviously a lot of amazing, creative people on Instagram and they might be wanting to work with the same brands you do, so don't be afraid to sell yourself, show them all of the reasons why you'd be a great creator to work with and if you've got any ideas for the collaboration then I'm sure they'd love to hear all about it! If a brand can see that you're really passionate about the product or experience you want to promtore then I'm sure they'll be more than happy to consider working with you! When I was looking for more tips about reaching out to brands I found this post by AllThatIsShe really helpful, I've linked it here because I'm sure you'll find it helpful too!

I hope that there has been something in this post that you've found interesting or helpful! Obviously there's lots of other really amazing instagrammers talking about content creating and business on Instagram, some of my favourites are: BookishBronte, AllThatIsShe and Me&Orla and I definitely recommend checking their blog/instagram for more tips!

If you have any other questions about sponsored posts or working with brands, please feel free to leave them below & I hope you're all having a lovely day! 

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8 comments

  1. This was such an interesting read! I've always been really curious as to how people get sponsored posts -- it's such a mystery! Thanks for lifting back the veil on this! Hopefully one day my Instagram will allow me to work with my favorite companies as well. 😊

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    1. Ah thank you, I'm so glad that you found this interesting! Good luck working with your favourite companies too! ♡

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  2. I would never understand why people are so against sponsored post. There is nothing wrong about making money online, I really don't get it. Thank you for being honest and sharing this with us.xx

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    1. Ah you're so welcome! It's really important to me to be honest when it comes to the way I make money online so I'm glad that came across, thank you for your comment! ♡

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  3. Do you have any tips on how to get followers? I run instagrams with very small follower counts so I'm afraid a brand might not be interested in working with me :/

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    1. Ah well as I mentioned in my post, brands will often look at more than your follower count when it comes to deciding whether or not to work with you...but in terms of trying to increase your followers I would say to make sure you're posting what you're really passionate about and if you can, try and find your niche, so you stand out from other accounts and always try to genuinely connect and interact with others. ♡

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  4. Great to read a bit of behind the sponsored posts! I love your header by the way <3

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    1. Ah thank you so much! So glad you liked the post & my new header! ♡

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