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How to sell Shoutouts on Instagram

Shoutouts have emerged as one of the most important digital marketing strategies to promote your brand or products, whether it be on TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, or similar.

If you struggle to sell your first shoutouts on Instagram or you don’t know how to make money with them, don’t worry I will teach you how to do it.

In this post, I will show you how you can earn money by selling shoutouts on Instagram, how to get people to post one about you and the criteria for a good shoutout partner.

Let’s jump right in.


What is an Instagram Shoutout

An Instagram Shoutout on the surface is when a user promotes someone else’s Instagram page that they want to grow or a product they sell.

Usually, an Instagram user promotes the other user by creating a post or story that contains a photo or video of the other page or a product they sell and mentions them via an @.

Even digital marketers have increased their spendings on sponsorships and shoutouts by a lot in the last few years.

This graph shows how the expenses have changed, and you can see, they have gone up by a lot. This means that shoutouts and sponsorships are more popular than ever.

Instagram influencer marketing spending

Source: statista

from 2013-2020; spendings from 10 mil. to 8.08 billion

Types of Shoutouts

There are different types of shoutouts that require a different approach. According to the shoutout you are selling or planning to get from someone, you should act accordingly:

  • Paid Shoutout

A user offers to pay you in order to get a shoutout from you to promote their brand. Typically the payment is in cash but often users pay their partner by sending them a free product from their business.

  • Shoutout for Shoutout “S4S”

A user offers to give you a shoutout and in return, you give them one too. An S4S can be very helpful, especially if you need to grow your business

  • Voluntary Shoutout

Someone promotes your account or product voluntarily, without you having to ask or pay them to do it. If someone gives you a voluntary shoutout, you should repost them, so that they feel acknowledged. 

Types of Shoutouts

How to sell Shoutouts

Before selling Instagram Shoutouts, it is advised you wait until you have about 20,000 to 50,000 people who follow your account.

Until that point, it is recommended you try to grow your following as fast as possible to get to a point where it is going to be growing quite quickly on its own.


Up until that point, I would suggest you focus on making money by affiliate marketing until you have about 20,000 followers for your account.


In the beginning, it can be difficult to find someone who is willing to pay you in order for you to give them a shoutout.

But I will show you a tactic that can be quite effective.


Some might consider this tactic sneaky, but I can recommend you follow other Instagram users that are about as big as you and are in the same niche as you are.

If you see them posting an ad you can reach out to the business they are promoting and ask them if they need more shoutouts.

Chances are that if they already are paying similar pages like yours for shoutouts, they are very likely to also buy a shoutout from you.


You should also write an info in your Instagram Bio, that you are open to doing shoutouts.

Ideal Profile picture for shoutout selling

Post Instagram Stories, where you state what kind of Shoutouts you do and how much you charge for them.

Save them in your Story Highlights, so that potential future business partners can still see them after 24 hours.


Getting Shoutouts

Shoutouts can be very useful if you want to grow your account. You can, of course buy Instagram shoutouts, but it can be useful to get an S4S to gain a bigger audience, so you don’ have to spend any money.


While there isn’t a guaranteed way to get an Instagram shoutout, there are some guidelines you should follow and some things you shouldn’t do to increase your chances of getting one.


You should be picky about who you choose for your shoutouts. There are some things you should consider when choosing your potential partner:

  • Number of Followers

You should stick to Micro-Influencers, which are people with about 10.000 to 50.000 followers.
The more followers they have, the more a shoutout will cost for you.

If you are looking for an S4S, you should look for an account that has a similar number of followers to you.

  • Content

You should choose someone that posts similar content to yours.

Since you want to get followers from them, their followers should also be interested in your account and the content you post. They won’t check out your account if they are not interested in the content you post.

  • Engagement of Followers

If they have e.g. 10.000 followers, but only an average of 100 likes and comments on their posts, you should not buy from them, those followers are not worth much for you. 


You should look for someone who has a good engagement rate. A low engagement can also be an indicator that the followers they have are fake or purchased.


Here is an engagement rate calculator for you that you can easily use to verify if an account is worth buying a shoutout from.



But be aware that a really high number of engagements (+40%) can be misleading because these accounts may be buying the likes and comments.
If you think they are doing this, don’t buy from them

Requirements for choosing a shoutout partner

Try to build relationships before asking them for a shoutout. Once you decide who is a good candidate, follow their account.

Also follow their other social media accounts, besides Instagram, if they have any.


Engage with their posts by liking and commenting. You should leave comments that leave real value, like bringing up relevant discussion topics or asking meaningful questions.


This way they will be familiar with you before you hit them up about a Shoutout.


When the time has come to ask them about a shoutout, you should do it via Instagram Direct messages or an email.


Next, state the purpose of your message. Tell them what you want and how they will profit from your offer.

Tell them if you want to buy or give them a freebie for a shoutout, or a Shoutout for Shoutout. Get right to it.


Here is an example of a Shoutout for Shoutout message:

Instagram Shoutout for Shoutout example

How often you should post Shoutouts

You should not post too many shoutouts, personally, I would suggest that not more than 10% of your content should be ads.

But when you do post them, make sure that they look as normal and organic as possible. They should match your feed.


If your ads look completely different from the content you normally post, chances are that you might lose followers and it likely won’t cover well for your client too.

You want to get good results for your clients in hopes that they will come back later and buy more shoutouts from you.


The easiest way to make a consistent income from shoutouts is to have the same couple of clients for a bunch of promotions every single month. So trying to get good results for them too is also very important.


Instagram Shoutout Apps and Marketplaces

You can also try out different apps and marketplaces that help brands connect with influencers.

I have listed such Marketplaces down below so you can check them out:


Pricing of Shoutouts

Generally speaking, there is not a sit price you should be charging for shoutouts.
There are many different factors that play in, like 

  • the age of your audience 
  • the demographics of your audience
  • the niche you are in
  • your account’s engagement 
  • how much you make from the account 
  • etc


Here is what influencers charge for an Instagram Shoutout according to Influencer Agency:

(But notice that these numbers are for Business to influencer, not for Account to Account)

Number of followers 100-500K 500K-1M 1M+
Shoutout costs $250 $1.000 $1.500


Your Instagram Engagement Rate is the quantitative measure (measurement of amount) of how users interact with your content. It takes into account your number of followers, likes, comments, and shares


The engagement rate is typically calculated by dividing the account’s likes and comments by its follower count.


If you have a high engagement rate and many people want to buy shoutouts, you can of course higher your prices. You can try to higher your prices to find out how much people are willing to pay, they will tell you if they think it is too expensive.


On the other hand, if no one buys shoutouts from you, you should lower your price and see if people buy them at a lower price.



Now you know everything you need about how to buy and sell shoutouts on Instagram to get started.

And how to use this monetization strategy to make some money.


It might take a while to get started and to get a hang of what type of outreach you should do and what accounts you should reach out to. But eventually, you will become better at it and see your results improving.


Tell me your results, thoughts, and questions you have down below in the comment section. Don’t forget to join the Dollar from Digital Newsletter to get notified when we have a new Blog Post for you.

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