Growing an Instagram following for your business is about more than booking clients. That’s the primary goal, of course, but it’s not the only way to leverage an audience that is actively engaging with your brand. Interior designers now have an opportunity to monetize their social media content through a new feature called Instagram Subscriptions.
The feature allows creators to produce exclusive content that is only accessible behind a paywall directly on the Instagram app. While this feature is still gaining momentum, we want to provide an overview of how interior designers can utilize this tool to diversify their revenue streams or to work towards establishing a more robust lifestyle brand.
An Overview of Instagram Subscriptions
We’ve previously shared about the newly announced Instagram Creator Marketplace, and a subset of this content monetization is Instagram Subscriptions. With this feature, users pay a monthly subscription fee (typically between $1.99 - $4.99/month) to for the following access:
-Exclusive Content: Stories, posts, reels, and live videos that are only visible to subscribers
-Subscriber Badge: A special badge next to the individual's username, which appears whenever they DM the content creator
-Subscriber Group Chat: Users have the ability to join and participate in intimate group chats with other subscribers and potentially the creator themselves
Similar to a news articles or podcast episode only accessible behind a paywall, this feature is Instagram’s way of making content monetization more easily accessible. Here’s how they described the concept: “With Instagram Subscriptions, creators can develop deeper connections with their most engaged followers and grow their recurring monthly income by giving subscribers access to exclusive content and benefits, all within the same platform where they interact with them already."
So now that we’ve established a general understanding of this content tool, let’s dig into the best ways to use it as an interior designer.
How Designers Can Use Instagram Subscriptions
Producing quality Instagram content as an interior designer is often a delicate balance. You want to offer followers tips and tricks without giving away design advice for free. And you want to engage with your audience, but not at the expense of your clients. Finding a happy middle ground can be difficult, and Instagram Subscriptions offer an intriguing alternative.
Subscriber-only content allows designers to leverage their expertise by educating, inspiring, and entertaining their most loyal follower base. While the vast majority of a designer’s IG audience is unlikely to hire their services (for either geographical or budget limitations), they are likely to pay a nominal fee for insider access to a designer whose work they deeply admire. It’s a low-risk, high-reward way for users to get even more content from the creators they love most.
Design-Focused Subscriber Content Ideas
Creating engaging subscription content requires taking things further than what’s shared on the public account. It’s a great opportunity to connect with an audience in a more meaningful way and provide value to subscribers who want to achieve the elements of a designer's signature style. Content ideas can include concepts like:
Favorite paint colors
In-depth design tips
General expertise (“Ask me anything” series)
Exclusive project progress/reveals
Instagram Subscriptions are an opportunity to monetize valuable information that’s often given away freely in the comments section or DMs. When a public account user asks which paint color is featured in a project reveal, designers can invite them to become a subscriber and access those details (and more!) by joining their community.
Another important distinction of subscriber content is bringing intentionality to the brand voice. This exclusive content is a chance to be more vulnerable with your audience and connect in a deeper way than your public account. Subscribers have already built up a know/like-trust relationship with you and your business, and it’s time to invest back in them. Don’t be afraid to share more off-the-cuff, less stylized content in a voice that’s more every day, less perfectly polished.
How to Set Up an Instagram Subscription
If you think Instagram Subscriptions are a good fit for your business, don’t hesitate to dive in. To start, you’ll need to meet the platform’s Partner Monetization Policies, and make sure you remain compliant with Instagram Community Standards and Content Monetization Policies. Per Instagram, “If you see Subscriptions appear in the professional dashboard, you can enable subscriptions and set your monthly price.” Next, you’ll want to follow this four-step tutorial to create exclusive content. You’ll have the ability to create subscriber-only lives, posts, reels, and broadcast chats, all for your exclusive follower base.
Instagram Subscription Design Accounts to Watch:
While Instagram Subscriptions are still in the very early stages, we’re excited to keep tabs on what this feature means for interior designers and lifestyle influencers in the future. When used strategically, it has so much potential to be a game-changing resource for both designers and their audiences.