How to become an Instagram influencer

Sep 24, 2019

What comes into your mind when you think of becoming an Instagram influencer? Perhaps, gaining a million followers and getting thousands of dollars for sponsored posts. Well, it’s not just about reaching a specific number of followers. It’s more about having an influence on loyal people on IG — those who like your content and can potentially buy the products you offer through the platform.

You can be an influencer on Instagram even with several thousand people following you and charge brands $50-$100 for one advertisement. There are five sure-fire ways to develop your Instagram page that will fit you, no matter how many followers  you have at the moment.

1) Find your niche and focus on it

Obviously, you want to monetize your account. It’s a fact that potential consumers are more likely to listen to the opinions of experts than fellow consumers. So, establish yourself as an expert.

They say that on social media, you can’t make it if you fake it. Is there something you’re passionate about? Influencers typically focus on fashion, fitness, travel, beauty, food, tech, or lifestyle. But you shouldn’t choose a route that doesn’t excite you just because someone else is already doing it successfully. There should be a sphere you’re genuinely interested and acknowledged in.  Maybe you’re into music, DIY crafts or photography.

Don’t make random posts. Make it clear for the followers that you have an interest in a particular niche.

2) Provide quality content

IG influencers are basically content creators. So, it doesn’t come as a surprise that users with attractive photos and videos have a bigger audience.

To create a visually rich platform, invest in a high-quality camera or photographer. Keep in mind that brands are looking for those who can represent their products, services, or location through eye-catching content. Maybe a friend takes good photos of you. But sometimes it makes sense to use the services of a professional.

One more way to improve your content is to choose and stick to an aesthetic. Keeping the same aesthetic provides a cohesive feed that guides your followers from one picture to another, holding their attention longer.

3) Use relevant hashtags

Simply Measured found that Instagram posts with at least one hashtag received an average 12.6% more engagement than those without a hashtag. But while it’s not news that these little symbols play a big role in developing influencers’ accounts, it’s not so simple to find #right #Instagram #hashtags.

Choose 30 popular hashtags related to your content and pack them up into several groups. Every time you upload a photo, select one group and include it into the first caption of your post.

Avoid overused tags like #food, #travel, #motivation, or others that have been used more than 500,000 times. The chance of appearing in the top ten posts for such hashtags is too low.

Tags that have between 10,000 and 100,000 posts will boost your exposure. Keep them #short, #simple, and #easytospell. Also, pay attention to trending tags in your topic.

4) Strengthen relations with your followers

Show your followers that you hear them. Respond to their comments either by answering their questions or giving out some likes. This interaction may not necessarily increase your following, but it contributes to the engagement level of your account. The goal is to develop loyalty so you won’t lose existing followers.

Moreover, your activity in the comment sections may encourage prospective brands to partner with you. They’ll see your interaction with IG users and influence on their purchase decisions. These factors demonstrate that you can be an effective promoter of their products or services.

5) Attract brands

So, you deliver high-quality content, boast a substantial number of followers, and have healthy engagement rates. “Where’s my long list of partnership offers?” you may wonder.

To get more offers:

  • Find brands in your niche and write them on Instagram Direct Messages or send an email.
  • Search the web for influencer marketing platforms where brands look for internet-famous creators.
  • Approach Instagram influencer marketing agencies (yes, they exist). They already have a network of brands running influencer campaigns.
  • Offer your service to local, small businesses. Even your few thousand followers is an appealing number for a small business owner and they can pay a few hundred dollars for an advert. Partner with a few each month and you’ll have a source of additional income.

Whatever your Instagram ambitions are and whatever the future has in store for social media marketing, becoming an influencer is a good choice. You can gain a strong following, become an industry thought leader, and establish your personal brand identity.  All these benefits are worthy of your efforts.

This is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send us your blog post.

Matt Robinson

Matt is a technical writer, translator, data-driven strategist, and a passionate storyteller.