Becoming an Instagram influencer is a lucrative business. You can make money by posting sponsored content, commissioning affiliate links, and selling products and services.
Marketers are investing millions in Instagram influencers to advertise their products. They find influencer marketing 80% more effective than traditional marketing channels that drive quality customers to their business.
Making a career as an Instagram influencer is no longer challenging because brands find that nano and micro creators have a higher engagement rate than mega influencers.
Success stories of Instagram influencers
Behind every successful influencer is an unseen struggle. Here are Fawn and Khaby shedding the truth on how they became a beacon to every person who wants to know how to be an Instagram influencer.
Fawn started blogging ten years ago when social media wasn’t a trend. She needed a way to channel her thoughts while keeping her family updated with her life.
When social media emerged, she started sharing the things that mean a lot to her—her kids, lifestyle, and fashion. Not long enough, brands began collaborating with her. She realized that this was an opportunity to make money while devoting her time to her kids.
Like many influencers, her success didn’t come overnight. It took her a few years to make a career of being an influencer. She struggled to balance work and personal life.
She didn’t want to be on her phone all day, so she dedicated a specific time of the day to working on her business: engaging with followers and increasing her reach.
She felt discouraged because some brands didn’t want to work with her, or she wouldn’t get any responses. Much more so when she saw that the companies she reached out to began working with other influencers. She opted to ask them for some corrective criticism to better her brand.
In time, she created long-term partnerships with brands that saw beyond their collaboration.
The famous Khaby Lame became an overnight sensation by posting simple, sarcastic, humorous videos pointing out people who complicate easy tasks.
Khaby Lame used to be a factory worker in Northern Italy. He moved back with his family when he lost his job. His father insisted on applying for work right away to earn money. Instead, he spent all day posting videos on Tiktok.
He initially posted clips in Italian, but he became well-known when he began posting wordless reaction videos. Then, he signed up to other social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter—estimating his net worth of $5 million in 2022.
He has endorsement deals with international companies such as Xbox, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Dream 11. Recently, he signed a contract with Hugo Boss to be a part of their #BeYourOwnBoss marketing campaign.
8 steps on how to be an Instagram influencer
Step 1: Decide and stick to a niche and content cornerstones.
It’s easy to make content and grow your following when you stick to a specific niche from the start of your Instagram content.
Think about the topics you’re passionate about or your most knowledgeable subjects.
Share posts that mean to you, and the only way to gain your audiences’ trust is to give them your unique perspective.
Sticking to a niche can help you brainstorm different content cornerstones faster because it’ll get tough when thinking of what to post next.
Using climate activists as an example: their content pillars may include zero-waste lifestyle and travel, advocacies, upcoming climate events, and even their reflections on climate change documentaries.
Once you’ve figured out your niche, making a monthly content calendar will help you avoid creator’s block.
Step 2: Decide on your aesthetic brand theme.
Although many influencers don’t use an aesthetic brand theme, it may be favorable if you want your profile to look organized and appealing.
It’s essential to pick the same filter or presets throughout your profile to stay consistent with your aesthetic brand theme. Alternatively, you can create an Instagram feed pattern by committing to color or background combo.
If you’re going for a luxurious charm, curating your profile theme with glamourous shots can attract luxury brands to work with you.
Step 3: Post consistently.
The frequency of your posts can keep your brand relevant in your followers’ Instagram feed.
You don’t have to upload content every day because some studies show that excessive posting can cause followers to unfollow your brand. It’s preferable to post relevant content at least 2-3x a week is more beneficial to gaining a higher reach.
You may schedule reels 1x per week and creative layouts 1-2x per week while you can post as many stories as you want.
Always remember to analyze your engagement statistics to study your brand’s performance.
Step 4: Write meaningful captions and hashtags.
Although Instagram only allows you to have 2,200 characters, it’s crucial to write short but captivating captions on your Instagram posts because it’s shortened to only 125 characters.
But lately, more and more brands are making the most out of the limited characters that Instagram provides its users. It lets them get creative by innovating ways to write about their experiences through microblogging.
Microblogging is a way to add more value to your content that can spark authentic conversations within your community in the comment section.
Instagram has limited searching capabilities, and that’s why using hashtags can help you expand your reach to new audiences. It’s a method that allows influencers to categorize their content to relevant users.
You can put up to 30 hashtags so use them strategically. Avoid hashtags that are not related to your brand. Also, combining trending and moderately popular hashtags with niche and brand-specific hashtags is highly advisable by experienced influencers to attract clients and followers.
Step 5: Build your community.
Instagram users want reliable Instagram influencers who can add value to their lives. That’s why it’s important to produce quality content over quantity.
Valuable content adds depth and creates a strong bond between you and your audience—trusting whatever you recommend on your platform.
It’s important to allocate time out of your schedule to respond to their comments and messages and even strike up a conversation when you’re building your community.
Step 6: Optimize your bio and profile.
Your profile is where you can attract and retain your ideal audience since it gives new visitors an idea of who you are as a brand.
If you want to optimize your profile, stay away from using generic hashtags in your bio. Instead, create a branded hashtag unique to your brand because you want to keep your audience from leaving your profile.
Plus, your bio must have keywords that target your niche industry and an accurate call-to-action linking your audience to your mobile-friendly website.
Keeping a cohesive feel in your bio can avoid confusion from visiting audiences.
Next is your profile photo.Influencers advise using an actual headshot photo instead of an avatar because your audience wants to get to know you personally.
However, if you have a retail brand or have a bigger team, you may opt for a logo. But make sure that your logo delivers a clear reflection of your brand.
Your name should include highly searchable keywords together with your brand name. So your profile name will come up in the top results.
Then finally, your highlights. Highlights play a significant role in optimizing your Instagram profile. Think of it as a binge-able navigation bar that showcases what your followers want to see or find out about your brand.
Your highlights can be a description elaborating your brand, FAQs, and product menu. But be sure to use branded icons to have a consistent brand theme.
Additionally, remind yourself to declutter your highlights and delete outdated stories to keep relevant stories.
Step 7: Stay updated about the latest Instagram features.
Instagram constantly updates its system every week by adding or removing some features.
You can keep yourself up-to-date by subscribing to educational channels and researching the internet for blogs and courses that showcase Instagram’s latest updates.
Bear in mind that staying updated with Instagram’s newest features is the secret sauce to keeping your relevance to your target audience.
Step 8. Expand your network.
Influencers have a common saying, “Your network is your net worth.”
Networking is integral for an influencer to gain collaborations and make meaningful connections.
Don’t get dismayed when you don’t hear from brands you’re messaging. They often receive hundreds if not thousands of messages from their followers.
Here are some tips for pitching a collaboration idea with other brands on Instagram.
- Position your profile. Your DMs may come off as spammy if your profile looks unseemly. A professional-looking profile and bio can increase your chances of getting through to brands you want to collaborate with—because brands will go to your profile before considering responding to you.
- Set a clear intention. Influencers receive a lot of DMS. It’s apparent to send them a straightforward and eye-catching message explaining your goals and intentions. Collaboration is a two-way street. Your message should contain how your idea can add value to their brand instead of what you can gain from the partnership. Avoid sounding like a fan. Treat them like normal people even though they’re someone of influence. You’d be surprised that you’ll get a better and more respectable engagement back.
Courses to help you be an influencer on Instagram
This course will shed light on the secrets of growing your Instagram followers organically. Here you’ll learn how to take advantage of Instagram’s algorithms to increase your chances of paid sponsorships and collaborations.
Instagram is a powerful platform to market your products. This course will show you how to convert your audience into paying customers. You’ll learn to create a credible online presence by making the most of Instagram’s latest features like stories, reels, IGTV, and IG ads.
Instagram stories are the perfect way to show off your brand without flooding your audiences’ feeds with posts. It’s a binge-worthy feature in keeping your followers engaged and updated with your brand.
In this course, you’ll learn from a motion graphic designer and photographer with ten years of experience in the industry. It will show you how to take and edit quality photos using third-party apps. You’ll also learn how to curate professional IG stories tailored to your brand’s theme.
By the end of this course, you’ll know the ins and outs of IG stories to captivate your target audience and persuade clients to work with you.
Businesses are now tapping into Instagram’s mass mobile traffic to market their products and services. With people constantly sharing, liking, and commenting on photos, it’s time to exploit them for monetization purposes.
This course will show you how to build your Instagram profile from the ground up—setting up your profile and bio, marketing your products, increasing your brand awareness, and growing your following organically.
Many people are aspiring to be Instagram influencers. But a lot of them fail because they lack consistency and depth.
If you’re one of those people who want to know how to succeed in this industry, this course will guide you on how you can monetize your brand.
In this course, you’ll develop the skills to stay consistent with your brand theme while posting quality and engaging content. Plus, you’ll know how to make the right branded and niche-specific hashtags that attract new audiences.
You’ll have the knacks to attract other brands to expand your network and connections through Instagram at the end of this course.
Becoming an Instagram influencer is a challenge yet rewarding.
It’s important to equip yourself with the proper digital photography skills to produce quality and professional-looking photos for your content and social media marketing knowledge to promote your brand and increase your followers.
Although it seems vain, having a lot of follower count adds depth and credibility to your profile. It shows professionalism and trustworthiness among your audiences and potential clients.
Being an influencer requires a lot of patience, especially when you’re starting from scratch. It’s essential to keep your head in the game and take the necessary opportunity to learn from available resources.
You can find a lot of online courses, video tutorials, and blogs that’ll show you the ropes on how to be a successful social media influencer.