How to Start an Instagram Business

An Instagram business is run by someone who has a lot of Instagram followers, promoting the goods and services of other brands. Normally, Instagram business owners are paid on a post-to-post basis, representing a brand’s various goods in new, creative lights.

Some Instagram business owners may branch out, creating their own product lines. Others might create YouTube channels, creating cross-market opportunities for themselves. The best Instagram business owners target niche audiences, like those interested in fitness, beauty, or pets.

Learn how to start your own Instagram Business and whether it is the right fit for you.


Start an instagram business by following these 9 steps:

You have found the perfect business idea, and now you are ready to take the next step. There is more to starting a business than just registering it with the state. We have put together this simple guide to starting your instagram business. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.

STEP 1: Plan your Business

A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns. A few important topics to consider are:

Luckily we have done a lot of this research for you.

What are the costs involved in opening an instagram business?

Fortunately, the costs of opening an Instagram business are incredibly low. Expect to pay $500 for a nice camera. It’s possible to run an Instagram business without your own computer, but we suggest purchasing a nice laptop for around $1,000. Because an Instagram advertiser has virtually zero incremental costs, they can run an Instagram business indefinitely. Small expenses include travel fees, camera upgrades, and research fees.

What are the ongoing expenses for an instagram business?

An Instagram business has few ongoing expenses. Aside from business insurance, computer maintenance and small advertising fees—which are highly variable—an Instagram marketer can expect to spend very little in overhead and variable costs.

Who is the target market?

An Instagram business marketer’s target market is the same market their overarching brand intends to reach. In general, an Instagram business account owner should gear all posts towards Instagram and Facebook owners. They should also research the markets their brand intends to impact, targeting adjacent markets as well.

How does an instagram business make money?

Instagram business account owners make money though affiliate marketing, posting branded advertisements, embedding code and creating strong cross-channel marketing strategies. If an Instagram account becomes popular, it’ll be referred often.

How much can you charge customers?

Instagram marketers work on a CPM basis. CPM is the cost to reach one thousand people per post. On average, a sponsored CPM post costs between $5 and $10. Instagram marketers can, of course, charge for higher-ranking posts and unique content. Because an Instagram marketer makes money from views and shares, their actual price charge per post is variable.

How much profit can an instagram business make?

Sponsored Instagram posts average about $300 each, if the Instagram account has many followers. A moderately successful Instagram marketer can make about $20,000 per year. A highly successful Instagram marketer can make six figures, if they’re considered to be “famous” within the community.

How can you make your business more profitable?

Diversify your content, but make sure you’re remaining in your niche. Connect with social media influencers, and focus on driving traffic once you’ve established a base crowd.

What will you name your business?

Choosing the right name is very important. Read our detailed guide on how to name your business. We recommend checking if the business name you choose is available as a web domain and securing it early so no one else can take it.

Find a Domain Now

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After registering a domain name, consider setting up a professional email account (@yourcompany.com). Google's G Suite offers a business email service that comes with other useful tools, including word processing, spreadsheets, and more. Try it for free

STEP 2: Form a legal entity

Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC prevents you from being personally liable if your instagram business is sued. There are many business structures to choose from including: Corporations, LLC's, and DBA's.

Form Your LLC

Read our Guide to Form Your Own LLC

Have a Professional Service Form your LLC for You

Two such reliable services:

Check out the Top Business Formation Services from our friends at StartupSavant.

You should also consider using a registered agent service to help protect your privacy and stay compliant.

STEP 3: Register for taxes

You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.

In order to register for taxes you will need to apply for an EIN. It's really easy and free!

A cube with LLC printed on its sides

You can acquire your EIN for free through the IRS website, via fax, or by mail. If you would like to learn more about EINs and how they can benefit your LLC, read our article, What is an EIN?.

STEP 4: Open a business bank account & credit card

Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.

When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.

Open a business bank account

  • This separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
  • It also makes accounting and tax filing easier.
A cube with LLC printed on its sides

Recommended: Find the right bank for you, read our review of the Top 5 Banks for Your Small Business

Get a business credit card

  • This helps you separate personal and business expenses by putting your business' expenses all in one place.
  • It also builds your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise money and investment later on.

STEP 5: Set up business accounting

Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.

STEP 6: Obtain necessary permits and licenses

Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.

Services Contract

Instagram businesses should require clients to sign a services agreement before starting a new project. This agreement should clarify client expectations and minimize risk of legal disputes by setting out payment terms and conditions, service level expectations, and intellectual property ownership. Here is an example of one such services agreement.

STEP 7: Get Business Insurance

Just as with licenses and permits, your business needs insurance in order to operate safely and lawfully. Business Insurance protects your company’s financial wellbeing in the event of a covered loss.

There are several types of insurance policies created for different types of businesses with different risks. If you’re unsure of the types of risks that your business may face, begin with General Liability Insurance. This is the most common coverage that small businesses need, so it’s a great place to start for your business.

Learn more about General Liability Insurance.

Another notable insurance policy that many businesses need is Workers’ Compensation Insurance. If your business will have employees, it’s a good chance that your state will require you to carry Workers' Compensation Coverage.

STEP 8: Define your brand

Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.

How to promote & market an instagram business

To promote your Instagram account, ask customers to tag you whenever they share your brand’s product pictures. Comment often, and like pictures when possible. To market yourself, give other brands a reason to hire your expertise. If you’re well-known for your promotional abilities, show them previous campaigns. Share posts related to your brand’s products and run giveaways and promotions. See who reposts your hashtags, and reach out to personal Instagram pages.

How to keep customers coming back

Attracting Instagram users isn’t difficult, but it takes practice. Post at 5pm daily, and use web analytics to determine the best time of day—post-wise. Again, respond to customer posts and comments. Embed all Instagram posts on your personal website, too. To retain customers, stay relevant! Know where your market is going before it gets there. Use relevant hashtags. Find out what your customers have to say.

STEP 9: Establish your Web Presence

A business website allows customers to learn more about your company and the products or services you offer. You can also use social media to attract new clients or customers.

Start An Instagram Business In Your State

A cube with LLC printed on its sides

Select your state below for an in-depth guide on completing each of these steps in your home state.

Is this Business Right For You?

The life of an Instagram marketer is perfect for those who enjoy taking pictures. It’s also a good career for those who have specific passions. If you enjoy capturing life events, promoting a hobby or spreading artistic joy, the Instagram business is for you.

What happens during a typical day at an instagram business?

Every day, the Instagram’s account owner checks their Facebook, Twitter, email and Instagram accounts. They need to maintain their Instagram’s business account, managing likes, follows, and content.

Much of an Instagram marketer’s job involves posting Instagram stories, sharing photos, creating hashtags, and connecting with users. The more an Instagram business operator networks, the better. A good Instagram operator will also use geotags, leading potential brand customers to store locations or public events. Other responsibilities involve running photo ad campaigns, video ad campaigns, and carousel ad campaigns.

It pays off to develop a powerful Instagram marketing strategy, too. A lot of Instagram business owners research product and service marketing. They also reveal “behind the scenes” brand material for promotional brand campaigns.

What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful instagram business?

An Instagram business’s growth potential is directly related to its follower count. If an Instagram account owner can get their name out there, they can create a fully branded experience. Social media marketing may be contained by the Internet, but it’s an incredibly viable career path. If an Instagram account owner is smart, they can become the most popular identity in a product or service niche.

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Take the Next Step

Find a business mentor

One of the greatest resources an entrepreneur can have is quality mentorship. As you start planning your business, connect with a free business resource near you to get the help you need.

Having a support network in place to turn to during tough times is a major factor of success for new business owners.

Resources to Help Women in Business

There are many resources out there specifically for women entrepreneurs. We’ve gathered necessary and useful information to help you succeed both professionally and personally:

  • Funding
  • Events
  • Guides
  • Support

If you’re a woman looking for some guidance in entrepreneurship, check out this great new series Women in Business created by the women of our partner Startup Savant.

What are some insider tips for jump starting an instagram business?

Interact with users frequently. Because Instagram marketing is popular, accounts which provide human, in-depth feedback responses do well. Like pictures, comment on other accounts, mention popular people. Tag others. Provide fully human responses, and become known as a quality provider. Use Instagram Direct when possible, and send messages to prospective clients.

How and when to build a team

You can manage an Instagram business alone. You should eventually hire professional Internet marketers, however. A growing Instagram business needs to understand the data which drives Internet marketing, and it needs to reach customers before competing Instagram marketers can. Consider hiring two to three additional workers within the first three years of Instagram marketing.

Next Steps

Get more ideas with our Business Ideas Generator.

Check out our How to Start a Business page.

Sign up at the Business Center to access useful tools for your business.

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