How Many Followers Do You Need on Instagram to Get Paid?


As digital marketing and entrepreneurship expert, author, speaker and trainer Jay Kubusek, was quoted as saying “success all depends upon the second letter.”  

A survey by PodSquad, a company that helps connect brands with influencers, revealed some surprising results.  Besides polling 300 paid Instagram influencers, the company also queried 50 brands in nine different industries.  While most influencers begin by simply receiving free products or discounts for their work, the results are highly contrasting after that.

Of the nine industries, makeup/cosmetics had the highest bar.  PodSquad discovered that an influencer needed 84,200 followers to be considered for a first paid offer for which he/she would receive an average of $493. Food and beverage reported in with the lowest numbers in both categories. The tipping point for followers was 8,700 and the pay was $23.

The other seven industries from second highest to second lowest in terms of followers were travel/hotels with 73,900 followers and $623, high fashion/clothing with 55,100 followers and $375, jewelry/watches with 39,500 and $410, electronics/tech with 34,100 followers and $102, outdoor/adventure with 29,000 followers and $201, fitness with 23,200 followers and $128, and casual fashion/clothing with 15,500 followers and $59.

On the other hand, blogger mastermind@thattravelblog says most companies consider paying influencers who exceed 9,999 followers while via @gypsea_lust suggests that most brands wouldn’t be interested unless they could see followers engaging with the influencer.

Marketing agency Mobile Media Lab says it has paid $700 to $900 for a single photo to influencers with more than 100,000 highly engaged followers.  For influencers with 500,000 followers, they said the rate could be as high as $3,000 for one photo.  The agency said some celebrity influencers have received as much as $8,000 for a single fashion photo.


In spite of the fact that women dominate influencer marketing, one interesting discovery the PodSquad survey uncovered was that men earned almost 23% more per sponsored Instagram post, even for makeup/cosmetics.

Marketing teams for top brands are on the lookout for talent all the time.  PodSquad said this is particularly true in the makeup, jewelry and fitness industries. According to influencer marketing company MediaKix, 66% of marketers will be increasing their influencer spending budgets in 2020 and 17% will be applying more than half on influencers.  At the same time, companies will be vetting potential influencers more thoroughly because of the rise in fake followers and fake bots.

To be a successful influencer who will attract the attention of marketers also requires other attributes.  These include good content as well as appealing photos.  The examples above confirm the tremendous potential.

Also be open to new and novel collaborative efforts.  There’s a growing move among some companies to partner with influencers by offering them part-ownership of what they’re endorsing instead of paying them.

Above all, concentrate on one’s own interests and do it well.  If applied successfully, things should fall together.