Influencers on Instagram are users with a particular niche and, generally, a large audience. These individuals are popular because they offer unique content and they connect with their Instagram followers. They’re also making big money because brands are taking notice.
Companies want to work with these social media rock stars in order to get their products in front of influencer audiences. If you want to be an Instagram influencer, here’s what you need to know.
1. Pick a niche.
In order to succeed as an influencer, you have to have growth and stand out. After all, there are around a billion monthly users on the platform. The best way to get noticed and to maintain sustainability is to choose a niche you’re passionate about and post on that topic almost exclusively. A niche is a specialized area of interest, and it should be specific. For example, fashion is a popular topic.
However, it’s a bit broad. It would be easy to get lost in a sea of fashion posts. On the other hand, maybe you’re a passionate advocate for body positivity. It might make sense for you to specialize in plus size fashion.
You can take that niche even further by focusing that niche on sexy plus size fashion. You might post about outfits for going out on date night or for on vacation. Whatever you choose, be sure it’s something you love. That way, you won’t get tired of posting on that topic.
2. Let your personality shine.
Because social media is all about building relationships, you want to find your tribe. Getting people to follow and engage with you depends on them liking you. People want to see authenticity.
They’ll know if you’re faking it. Influencers often work with brands. By not consistently showing your true self, you risk being viewed as a shill who promotes items only to make money.
On the other hand, if you regularly make posts that demonstrate your true nature and show your vulnerability, your audience will be more apt to believe you when you share great products with them.
In addition, being authentic allows you to stand out from the crowd. No two people are alike. Audiences get bored with the same old thing, so take risks. Share your expertise and what makes you different.
3. Create a signature look.
As an influencer, you’re essentially selling yourself. You are the product. Therefore, you are your own brand. Branding is an important concept in business. By sharing your passion and expertise in exchange for sponsorship and other monetization methods, you are a business. Your brand is what people think of when they hear your name.
So take the time to craft your message and aesthetic prior to launching your Instagram feed if you haven’t done so already. Decide what type of vibe you want to give your visitors. Think of some adjectives that describe your brand and consider ways to convey that message. For instance, if you want to be seen as fun and daring, it might make sense to use bright, jeweled toned colors.
Someone going for a sophisticated tone might choose black and white photography with graphic accents of gold or silver. You can also incorporate filters to brighten or subdue your photography. Stick with the same filter for every image you post in order to maintain a cohesive aesthetic. Branding for Instagram can be an extensive process, but it’s definitely worth it.
4. Make sure your posts look professional.
You don’t have to be a professional photographer, but you won’t go far as an Instagram influencer if your photos don’t look sharp and beautiful. Don’t worry. You can do this yourself.
Lots of people do. It’s also possible to hire a pro if you have the budget. However, it’s not necessary. There are plenty of tutorials online with advice on how to take professional looking photos. In fact, you can do it with just your smartphone.
You simply have to learn some photography basics and follow those rules to get started. As mentioned in the last point, there are photography editing apps to help you polish the end result with filters, cropping and other tools.
5. Post regularly.
An influencer needs to cultivate a fairly sizable and engaged audience. As you develop your following, they will expect to hear from you on a regular basis. Posting regularly is actually an important part of building that audience in the first place.
Instagram’s algorithm favors those who post frequently, and you’ll soon see your content begin to rise to the top of the feed for more people to see. A good rule of thumb is to post at least once a day, shooting for seven times a week or more.
6. Get social.
Yes, Instagram is a social media app. You have to be social if you want to build a dedicated audience to influence. That means answering every question that comes your way through DM and replying to your comments regularly. There are lots of ways to invite engagement. Post polls in your Instagram Stories.
Give a shout out by sharing someone else’s content and tagging them to be sure to give them credit. There are plenty of opportunities to create engagement. It just takes some creativity and an outgoing nature.
You also need to put yourself out there and engage on the accounts of others. This doesn’t have to be scary, though. Think of it as having a conversation. In order to build relationships, you must talk to people. Reach out to users in your niche.
Don’t be afraid to approach some of your favorite companies, either. Even as a new influencer, it’s smart to get on the radar of brands you’d like to work with in the future.
There are tons more advanced tips to help you become an Instagram influencer, but these should give you a good start as you begin to research the ins and outs of the platform. Have fun with it, and don’t be afraid to experiment.