10 Key Steps to Changing into an Instagram Influencer
Little did I know when I started my journey on Instagram that one day I would become a “top influencer”. In the beginning, companies turned to me to review their products because I was CEO of the Garnysh startup.
From then on, things took on a life of their own, and now I have over 191,000 followers on Instagram and counting. Over 500 brands approached me about sponsorships and promotions, including Target, Bumble Bizz, Amazon, Fresh Beauty, and Sephora.
Would you like to know my top 10 steps to become an Instagram influencer? Continue reading.
1. What is your Instagram niche?
It sounds clichéd, but that’s important. In addition to investigating what you are passionate about, you should also be honest with yourself for what you can.
Sports, cooking, beauty, art, interior design? Do you love making funky sushi dishes? Maybe you can create some bombshell hairstyles that no one has seen before. Whatever it is, this is your niche. For me, beauty and fitness immediately went hand in hand, and as a mother of two in the entertainment industry, my horizons only broadened.
Create a blog while diving into Instagram. This strengthens your brand.
2. Instagram Analytics (sigh)
It might sound boring, but you need a business Instagram account to read these analytics. Learn more about Instagram Insights. Get all the demographic you need about who is following you. You can also track profile views and audience activity times.
Since you have your niche, publish things strategically, not randomly. Which posts do your followers love? Which create less interest? All of these will help you build your status on Instagram.
I have to be honest, not everyone loves analytics – I find it fascinating. If you learn this yourself in the beginning, you will have an advantage.
3. Focus on your Instagram bio
They know what it’s like when you apply for new jobs, go through your resume and résumé. That’s the same precision you need when writing your Instagram bio.
Don’t worry, you only need to work with 150 characters, but this short paragraph is your pitch. It’s introducing your brand, what it’s about and what you want to do. Your bio should capture the essence of who you are. Make sure to include a link on your bio if you have a website or blog.
4. It’s all about Instagram aesthetics
Have you noticed that while browsing Instagram, you always tap the photos with a cool or interesting aesthetic? This mood can work in many different ways.
Learn how to take great photos. If you don’t already know how to do this, start learning! Do you have the money to hire a good team? I suggest you do that. Most influencers focus on a color scheme so that their photos are cohesive – it becomes their signature palate. While you don’t have to do this, your contributions are easily identifiable. My posts don’t all look the same, but I have a similar feeling: glamorous but down to earth; cheeky but still authentic.
Don’t worry about being or looking perfect. Focus on professionalism, good quality and a solid atmosphere.
5. Don’t forget your Instagram captions
The photos speak to your followers, but the short captions say more than a thousand words. Don’t ignore this small but important element. You don’t write a sonnet. This is haiku. The captions make a brand look interesting and real. This is your voice that speaks to your followers. So show a certain personality.
First, ask yourself: what is the voice of my brand? You know your niche, you know your aesthetic, but how do you speak? Are you chilled, lively, funny, humorous? Your language and tone are just as interesting as your pictures. Pick a voice that speaks to you and be consistent.
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6. Choose great Instagram hashtags
#InfluencerLifeGoals. Did you know that hashtags can increase your following on Instagram? Posts with hashtags lead to more engagement and views.
For example, let’s say you’re reviewing a new skin care brand from Sephora. Do you think the post with the hashtag #skincare will be found? No! You have to be specific and use lots of hashtags to make sure the post shows up. For example: #SephoraWatermelonMask, #SplurgingAtSephora, #BestUnderEyeCream. You understand the essentials.
Aim for between 5 and 30 hashtags for each post – somewhere in the middle this will work for me. You also want to avoid placing too many hashtags. Find your magic number. Also, don’t be afraid to see what hashtags other influencers are using. Instagram Insights shows you how your hashtags work.
7. Create an Instagram posting plan
I can’t emphasize this enough: you need to keep posting new content and determining your optimal posting frequency. According to studies, top influencers will post 1.5 times a day. You don’t have to – I certainly don’t and have still found success. Engaging frequently will keep you relevant to your followers. Much of this has to do with Instagram’s algorithm. If your weekly frequency goes down, the algorithm will rank you lower, which means you will show up less.
I find the best way to organize my time and schedule is to have a day each week that I take several photos and plan with my team when these posts will be published. You can try a planning tool like Sked Social. No matter how you schedule your posts, be consistent in everything you do.
8. Your Instagram followers want to hear from you
Have you ever reached out to and heard from a preferred influencer? If so, you know what an amazing feeling it is.
Ultimately, Instagram is a social platform, and interacting with your followers creates excitement and loyalty. Reach out to other influencers, comment on posts that are relevant to your brand, and keep your presence strong on Instagram. Leaving comments will start relationships and conversations. Replying to comments others leave on your posts can be fun and enjoyable.
To be an influencer, it’s important to take the time to network and communicate with your followers on Instagram. Always thank people for their support.
9. Do you reach brands or do they come to you?
That’s a good question, and it depends. I was lucky. I had brands that came to me from the start and they still do. Unless you’re the CEO of a company, consider all of the steps I mentioned: choose your niche, find your voice, agree on posts – until you have thousands of followers under your belt.
Once you get there, you can turn to Marken. They want to get your account on their radar. Send them a DM or contact them by email; Use branded hashtags in your posts. And don’t be afraid of rejection. It is impossible to avoid when you find your feet.
10. Have your influence
Did you know that top influencers can make thousands of dollars per post? An influencer is a trendsetter, a trusted expert, and a valued online personality. In today’s modern world, big brands can’t compete with influencers. Thanks to social media, a CoverGirl ad featuring a popular celebrity isn’t performing as well as it used to be. People want to see something real.
When big brands, or even smaller brands, work with influencers, they create a larger network that reaches the online community in ways that traditional advertising cannot. This is also a wonderful way for brands to inform about new products.
Don’t write off your Instagram presence as a hobby. Embrace your strength.
To become a successful Instagram influencer, you need passion. My passion for Instagram is evident in my posts and is resonating with my followers and the companies I work with. I single-handedly took my passion for taking pictures and selfies and turned it into a business where I am now paid to do what I love.
My journey on Instagram started as a sideline and is now a full blown business – something I’ve added to my list of entrepreneurial accomplishments. My content is personal and a few minutes on my side will give you a very clear idea of who I am as a woman, mother and CEO.
CONNECTED: In-demand Instagram influencer: How she got there
Photo credit: © Alex Matt