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.
You may also be interested in additional online business ideas.
Ready to form your LLC? Check out the Top LLC Formation Services.
Learn how to start your own Instagram Business and whether it is the right fit for you.
Start an instagram business by following these 10 steps:
- Plan your Instagram Business
- Form your Instagram Business into a Legal Entity
- Register your Instagram Business for Taxes
- Open a Business Bank Account & Credit Card
- Set up Accounting for your Instagram Business
- Get the Necessary Permits & Licenses for your Instagram Business
- Get Instagram Business Insurance
- Define your Instagram Business Brand
- Create your Instagram Business Website
- Set up your Business Phone System
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.
Exploring your options? Check out other small business ideas.
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 much can you charge customers?
- 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 important and challenging. If you don’t already have a name in mind, visit our How to Name a Business guide or get help brainstorming a name with our Instagram Business Name Generator
If you operate a sole proprietorship, you might want to operate under a business name other than your own name. Visit our DBA guide to learn more.
When registering a business name, we recommend researching your business name by checking:
- Your state's business records
- Federal and state trademark records
- Social media platforms
- Web domain availability.
It's very important to secure your domain name before someone else does.
STEP 2: Form a legal entity
The most common business structure types are the sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), and corporation.
Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC or corporation protects you from being held personally liable if your instagram business is sued.
Form Your LLC
Read our Guide to Form Your Own LLC
You can form an LLC yourself and pay only the minimal state LLC costs or hire one of the Best LLC Services for a small, additional fee.
Recommended: You will need to elect a registered agent for your LLC. LLC formation packages usually include a free year of registered agent services. You can choose to hire a registered agent or act as your own.
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!
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?.
Learn how to get an EIN in our What is an EIN guide or find your existing EIN using our EIN lookup guide.
Small Business Taxes
Depending on which business structure you choose, you might have different options for how your business will be taxed. For example, some LLCs could benefit from being taxed as an S corporation (S corp).
You can learn more about small business taxes in these guides:
- LLC Taxes
- Sole Proprietorship vs LLC
- LLC vs Corporation
- LLC vs S Corp
- How to Start an S Corp
- S Corp vs C Corp
There are specific state taxes that might apply to your business. Learn more about state sales tax and franchise taxes in our state sales tax guides.
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.
Additionally, learning how to build business credit can help you get credit cards and other financing in your business's name (instead of yours), better interest rates, higher lines of credit, and more.
Open a business bank account
Besides being a requirement when applying for business loans, opening a business bank account:
- Separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
- Makes accounting and tax filing easier.
Recommended: Read our Best Banks for Small Business review to find the best national bank or credit union.
Open net 30 accounts
Net 30 accounts are used to establish and build business credit as well as increase business cash flow. With a net 30 account, businesses buy goods and repay the full balance within a 30-day term.
NetMany net 30 credit vendors report to the major business credit bureaus (Dun & Bradstreet, Experian Business, and Equifax Business Credit). This is how businesses build business credit so they can qualify for credit cards and other lines of credit.
Recommended: Read our best net 30 vendors, guide and start building business credit.
Get a business credit card
Getting a business credit card helps you:
- Separate personal and business expenses by putting your business' expenses all in one place.
- Build your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise money later on.
Recommended: Apply for an easy approval business credit card from Divvy and build your business credit quickly.
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.
Make LLC accounting easy with our LLC Expenses Cheat Sheet.
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.
State & Local Business Licensing Requirements
Certain state permits and licenses may be needed to operate an instagram business business. Learn more about licensing requirements in your state by visiting SBA’s reference to state licenses and permits.
For information about local licenses and permits:
- Check with your town, city or county clerk’s office
- Get assistance from one of the local associations listed in US Small Business Associations directory of local business resources.
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.
Recommended: Learn what business insurance for your Instagram Business will cost.
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.
If you aren't feeling confident about designing your small business logo, then check out our Design Guides for Beginners, we'll give you helpful tips and advice for creating the best unique logo for your business.
Recommended: Get a logo using Truic's free logo Generator no email or sign up required, or use a Premium Logo Maker.
If you already have a logo, you can also add it to a QR code with our Free QR Code Generator. Choose from 13 QR code types to create a code for your business cards and publications, or to help spread awareness for your new website.
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 5 p.m. 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.
Another good way to keep your customers is to build trust; to do that, you can get your Instagram account verified. What this means is that you are proving to your customers that you are the original owner of your Instagram business account, which will help build trust and notability. Check out our How to Get Verified on Instagram guide to learn more.
In conclusion, to retain your customers, stay relevant and be trustworthy! Know where your market is going before it gets there. Use relevant hashtags. Find out what your customers have to say and prove to them you are a reputable business.
Still unsure about what kind of business you want to start? Check out the latest Small Business Trends to help inspire you.
STEP 9: Create your business website
After defining your brand and creating your logo the next step is to create a website for your business.
While creating a website is an essential step, some may fear that it’s out of their reach because they don’t have any website-building experience. While this may have been a reasonable fear back in 2015, web technology has seen huge advancements in the past few years that makes the lives of small business owners much simpler.
Here are the main reasons why you shouldn’t delay building your website:
- All legitimate businesses have websites - full stop. The size or industry of your business does not matter when it comes to getting your business online.
- Social media accounts like Facebook pages or LinkedIn business profiles are not a replacement for a business website that you own.
- Website builder tools like the GoDaddy Website Builder have made creating a basic website extremely simple. You don’t need to hire a web developer or designer to create a website that you can be proud of.
Using our website building guides, the process will be simple and painless and shouldn’t take you any longer than 2-3 hours to complete.
Recommended: Get started today using our recommended website builder or check out our review of the Best Website Builders.
Other popular website builders are: WordPress, WIX, Weebly, Squarespace, and Shopify.
STEP 10: Set up your business phone system
Getting a phone set up for your business is one of the best ways to help keep your personal life and business life separate and private. That’s not the only benefit; it also helps you make your business more automated, gives your business legitimacy, and makes it easier for potential customers to find and contact you.
There are many services available to entrepreneurs who want to set up a business phone system. We’ve reviewed the top companies and rated them based on price, features, and ease of use. Check out our review of the Best Business Phone Systems 2023 to find the best phone service for your small business.
Recommended Business Phone Service: Phone.com
Phone.com is our top choice for small business phone numbers because of all the features it offers for small businesses and it's fair pricing.
Start a Instagram Business in your State
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- South Dakota
- West Virginia
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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.
Want to know if you are cut out to be an entrepreneur?
Take our Entrepreneurship Quiz to find out!
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.
Not sure if an instagram business is right for you? Try our free Business Idea Generator and find your perfect idea.
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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.
Learn from other business owners
Want to learn more about starting a business from entrepreneurs themselves? Visit Startup Savant’s startup founder series to gain entrepreneurial insights, lessons, and advice from founders themselves.
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:
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.
Get more ideas with our Business Ideas Generator.
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