How to Start an Instagram Business

Instagram Business Image

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 step 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:

  • What are the startup and ongoing costs?
  • Who is your target market?
  • How long it will take you to break even?
  • What will you name your business?

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. 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.

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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.

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

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For most small businesses forming an LLC is a great option, but if you still want to weigh all your options check our our article, What Structure Should I Choose for My Business?

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!

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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.

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


Insurance is highly recommended for all business owners. If you hire employees, workers compensation insurance may be a legal requirement in your state.

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.

Recommended: Get started with local advertising for your business with a $300 credit from Yelp.

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

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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.

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 Tool.

Check out our How to Start a Business page.

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