If you’ve ever looked at an influencer’s page and wondered how they got so many followers on social media, you’re not alone. Many people think that there is some kind of hidden art to becoming popular online, but the reality is that there are tried and true steps that can get you there, too.
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How to Become an Instagram Influencer: 9 steps
There are many different steps you can take to become an Instagram influencer. From finding your niche and content pillars to getting to know how the Instagram brand deals work, doing your research in advance can really help you make an Instagram page that you’re proud of while growing your business.
Since there is so much information out there about becoming an influencer already, you may not be sure exactly what to do. That’s why we’ve put together this helpful list of nine steps you can begin taking today.
1. Identify Your Niche and Content Pillars
The first thing you have to do to become an Instagram influencer is to define your niche. You should think about the things that you are passionate about doing as well as what you’re good at doing.
Are you great at art? Maybe you love to cook. Perhaps you travel and want to post about the places you go. Funnel down to find your niche, so you can capture an audience that wants to see your content.
2. Have a Profile Picture That Represents You
Another good step to take is to put together a profile picture that represents you and your brand. If you’re talking about pastries, it won’t make sense to have a photo of a sunset, for example.
Your profile picture should reflect something positive about your brand. You can, of course, use a picture of yourself. Other options include photos of a pet you want to make Insta-famous or a specific logo that you’re using to brand your products.
Once you find a profile picture that represents you and your business, keep it the same or similar in the future.
Remember that people are highly visual online, so they’ll want to be able to quickly identify your Instagram posts by looking at your profile photo. Changing it could reduce your audience.
3. Build a Better Bio
Don’t forget that Instagram limits linking in posts. It’s helpful if you can add a link tree to your bio on your profile page. A link tree can have links to Patreon, Etsy, eBay, a website, or other social media, so your audience can find you wherever you are.
Your bio needs to reflect who you are and all the things people need to know about your brand. You don’t have much space to write your bio, so keep it clean and concise. If you keep running out of characters, you need to drill down and put together a tighter bio.
Adding a link tree, like mentioned above, will give you additional space to provide more information, so you can get visitors to return. You may also want to add a call to action, such as “follow me,” or include your business email and if you’re willing to accept direct messages.
4. Decide on a Feed Aesthetic and Stick to It
When you’re on Instagram, you probably look at reels or feeds that have interesting videos and pictures (especially short videos, which is the most trending type of content right now). You want to create an Instagram account that has particular aesthetics that appeal to your audience.
To start with, focus on:
- A good color scheme
- Cohesive photos in your niche
- Good photos that are easy to see and captured with quality
5. Prioritize Quality
Speaking of quality, it is important that you’re posting quality updates to your Instagram. Sure, you can post 10 times a day and have more people see what you post, but are those 10 posts really valuable to your audience?
You need to post content that is on brand and that has a real value to your audience. Doing this will make them interact with you more, and that will boost your brand.
For better quality posts:
- Remember to use researched hashtags
- Include a short statement about the image
- Take good-quality images that aren’t blurry or hard to see
- Be professional when writing content (be concise and eliminate grammatical errors)
Doing all of these things will help you create better-quality photos and posts that make your Instagram feed stand out from others.
6. Focus on Meaningful Engagement
Engagement is something that not enough people talk about on social media. It’s not enough to just get some feedback and ignore the commenters. It’s not enough to accept that your followers are growing and not to interact with those followers on a personal level.
People like to be recognized. You need to focus on meaningful engagement with the people who come to see your page. What does that mean? It means that you should respond to meaningful comments.
If someone has a question that can be answered, answer it publicly or ask them to message you directly. Make a second post answering the question specifically.
Tie in your interactions into our business model, so you’re encouraging people to speak with you and learn from what they have to say.
7. Decide on Your Rates
Calculating Instagram influencer rates is not an exact science, but there are a few ways you can work out what to ask for when a brand approaches you to work with them.
The first option is to add the engagement rate per post and extras together to get your total rate. Another is to charge a flat rate of $100 per 10,000 followers with additional fees for factors not yet considered.
For example, if you are doing 10 posts for a major brand and have 100,000 followers, you might charge $1,000 each. If those posts require travel or other expenses on your end, you may add in those expenses or an additional charge for the extra work.
It’s up to you to decide how much to charge. People who have many followers can often charge more than those who don’t, so know that you may be able to increase your rates as you grow your following.
8. Find Brands to Work With
You can find brands to work in one of two ways.
- They can come to you and ask you to represent their business
- You can go to them with an offer of your services
If you have a great, carved-out niche, you may benefit more from contacting others and offering to promote their businesses on your page.
You may also find that many brands approach you and ask to work with you, but you should be cautious when choosing the right brands to represent.
Remember that getting brand deals can be an excellent way to make money as an influencer, but representing the wrong brands can hurt you. Your audience doesn’t just want to see ads and paid posts.
Be sure that you are only representing products that you’re using or would use yourself. Choose quality brands to work with.
When you’re ready to find brand deals, reach out to the brands you want to work with. It’s helpful if you have at least a few thousand followers before doing so, but people with fewer followers can also get brand deals early in their Instagram careers.
9. Keep Up with Instagram Analytics
The backend of any good social media account does revolve around analytics. You will need to sign up for an Instagram Business Account to get the analytics that tells you who is viewing your content, where they’re from, and other important details.
It’s important for you to track profile views, so you know how many people are finding you. You should also focus on audience activity times.
For example, if you are posting at 6:00 a.m. but your audience isn’t usually online until 8:00 p.m., it’s possible that your posts could be missed. Honing in on your audience’s activity times could help you get seen by more people.
Analytics are also important for figuring out who enjoys your posts. Are there certain posts that get a lot of interest? Are there some that don’t get any?
If you tailor your content to those analytics, you will see an improvement in activity and be better able to build your status on Instagram.
Wrap Up and become an Instagram Influencer
Instagram can be a fantastic way to grow your audience, boost your business, and make yourself known. There are many steps to take to start your Instagram page off right, but if you follow them and get to know your analytics, you’ll soon see your audience start to grow.
Do you want to learn more about Instagram’s algorithms? Learn more about your content and how to make an impact by reading, “Instagram Changes Its Ranking Algorithm To Benefit Original Content.”