This Is How Much An Instagram Influencer With Nearly 500,000 Followers Earns In Her First Year As A Full

2 years ago, Achieng Agutu, a influencers 26-year-old fashion and lifestyle designer, had just graduated from business school with a master’s degree in marketing.

Although her latest Snapchat memories have been flooded with “memories” of the nights Agutu spent eating ramen and drinking Red Bull “struggling to get through exam week,” her day to day is very different now, she tells Business Insider.

“At the time, I couldn’t think beyond my nose,” Agutu explains. “Definitely, I wanted to dedicate myself full time to social networksbut I didn’t think about the scope of how I could change my life and change the lives of the people around me.”

Agutu began sharing more content throughout 2020, and as of early 2021, he had fewer than 100,000 followers on Instagram, according to data from SocialBlade. Now, Agutu is finishing his first year as influencers full-time, with around 488,000 Instagram followers, and 730,000 total followers across Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.

He also earns 7 figures.

This is a day in the life of an ‘influencer’ with 100,000 followers on Instagram: free food, ‘selfies’ and work, a lot of work

Represented by Digital Brand Architects, a talent agency under the UTA umbrella, Agutu is closing out 2022 with over $1 million in revenue from brand deals across social media. Business Insider has verified Agutu’s income with documentation provided by DBA.

“I thought the most I could make was probably $500,000,” he says. “It’s so surreal. I haven’t had time to process how far I’ve come financially“.

How Agutu made money during his first year as influencers full time

Agutu began to dedicate himself as influencers full-time in 2021 and signed with DBA the same year, but 2022 was a year of experimentation as he adjusted to his new career.

The transition to work influencers going full-time meant restructuring his entire schedule, navigating how to maintain a sustainable cadence of content and paid endorsements, and also figuring out what types of paid content worked best.

“People want to feel something, they want to be moved to do something,” shares Agutu. She adds that paid content that looked like scripted ads made her feel like a robot, so she focused on offering branded content that fit her lifestyle and her voice.

You work closely with your DBA team to plan partnerships that make sense for your own brand and revenue goals. According to Agutu, long-term collaborations are preferred to one-off agreements. In addition to being more lucrative, these long-term deals are more beneficial to both your audience and the brand.

The TikTok paradox: creators get famous fast, but they all make far less money than on any other social network

Agutu is a longtime collaborator with skincare brand Ole Henriksen, and has worked in 2022 with a variety of beauty, fashion and other lifestyle brands, from Aerie to Vision Mobile, and even Denny’s restaurant.

According to DBA, Agutu is still awaiting payment of some $76,000 from trademark deals. However, outstanding checks are not uncommon in the marketing of influencers. Brands usually have different payment schedules, some up to 3 months.

Planning ahead for 2023: from scheduling time off to diversifying sources of income

What influencersAgutu knows that you should not expect the same payment every monthsuch as salaried workers. For example, May was the month with the highest income for him – more than 200,000 dollars, about 187,000 euros at current exchange rates -, which he attributed to the offers of Fashion Week and Coachella.

Instead, October was a lower month, but for good reason. Agutu took the month off after reaching a “breaking point” and needed to take care of herself to avoid burnout (a problem many creators face).

Succeed in the sector of influencers usually requires adaptation.

Agutu, like many others influencerswants to go “beyond the digital space” and rely less on brand deals to pay billsit states.

Agutu attends an event sponsored by Ugg.

Looking ahead to 2023, Agutu is exploring ways to diversify its revenue as its audience continues to grow and economic turbulence looms. Some of the options it is considering are expanding more on YouTube and YouTube Shortshosting more face-to-face events, and potentially collaborating with a brand to create something tangible, like a product line of their own.

There will be a lot of “trial and error,” Agutu acknowledges.

But before 2023 speeds up, Agutu says he’s taking some time off. He will spend time with his family in Kenya to “connect with [sus] roots” and will spend time focusing on herself to “get back the energy” she had.

“Now I understand a little better the rhythm that I have to follow”it states.

This Is How Much An Instagram Influencer With Nearly 500,000 Followers Earns In Her First Year As A Full-Time Creator