Welcome to the age of millennials where you can make money(and I mean a lot of it!) simply by documenting your life every day. Brands are paying a lot of money to “average Joes” who manage to turn their otherwise mundane lives into something worth watching – and paying for!
And when I say a lot of money, I’m talking to the tune of $1 million dollars for a single post!
From amassing a large following to collaborating with some of your favorite brands to making money by the millions, becoming an influencer has a lot of perks. Plus, who doesn’t want to be rich, famous, and influential?
Here’s my ultimate guide on how to become an Instagram influencer and get paid.
#1 Find Your Niche
Instagram currently has over 1 billion active users per month. Your first step to becoming an influencer is to stand out from this ocean of users. Zero in on one niche and dive deep. Think of it in business terms, no person or brand is going to want you if you’ve five niches where other competitors are sticking to just one niche and going all in.
Skincare, lifestyle, fashion, food, photography, gaming, architecture, you name it. There are so many options, and surely you must be good at something if not more. Remember, you want to have a cohesive vibe for your page, so people know what to expect. Pick something you’re drawn to. If you love traveling or adventures, you might want to start a travel page and so on. Check out our complete guide on what to post on Instagram for more help finding a niche.
Focusing on one area of interest will help you rope in collaborations with other influencers that actually matter, get you an audience that you want, and it’s also going to help you get work because that’s exactly the kind of influencers most brands love working with
So pick one that you’re really passionate about, one that truly reflects who you are and avoid half-assing three to four niches.
Let’s take a look at itsdougthepug’s feed here. This little canine social media heartthrob with his signature wrinkled snout has brought joy to 3.7 million fans all over the world. And yes, you will see celebrity cameos frequenting his feed including the likes of Chrissy Teigen and Halsey.
#2 Switch to Instagram Business Account
Instagram offers numerous tools for influencers to use and switching to a business account will allow you to use the Instagram Insight feature.
This feature will give you a scoop into your follower demographic data. It also helps to identify popular locations, follower fluctuations, profile views, website clicks, and audience activity, based on a fixed time period.
You will also get relevant information about specific posts as well as your account in general. This is important as it can help you avoid posting random stuff and instead come up with well-planned strategies.
By using Instagram Insight, you’ll have an idea of the type of content your followers love, the right time to post, and so on, which is why almost every influencer has a business account.
Another advantage of using Instagram Insights is Ads. When checking Instagram stories, you might have come across some ads. Those ads are a way for influencers or brands to upsell their service or products, and to get noticed by new followers.
While starting a business account is free, you’ll have to pay money for ads and given the number of new followers you gain from it; it’s totally worth it!
#3 Your Aesthetic Matters, Honey!
One thing that all Instagram Influencers have in common is aesthetics.
Top influencers know the importance of sticking to a single aesthetic; it’s what sets them apart from the crowd.
Remember, you want to have a cohesive vibe for your page, so people know what to expect. This will also help in increasing your engagements by making people spend more time scrolling through your feed.
Let me tell you something, it might sound simple, yet it’s actually quite tough to stick to a specific aesthetic.
Pick one that best suits you, one that you can stick to.
Check out these cool examples:
Notice how Tara Whitman sticks to just 1 or 2 colors in all her feed. This vibrant and bold theme increases the visual appeal of her Instagram account. Not one post looks out of place, yet each one stands out equally!
@simplywhytedesign – collages, puzzle feed, and moving photos. If this ain’t talent, I don’t know what is! Scroll down to see the different collages that she posts. Each of the collages has a different theme. It’s super cool.
#4 Consistency is the Key!
Regardless of which social platforms you use, if you’re trying to build an empire or influence your audience, staying consistent is more important than ever.
Top influencers and brands post at least 1.5 times a day, why? Because they want to stay relevant and consistently engage with their audience.
I mean it’s obvious, if you’re someone who only posts once or twice per week, your followers are less likely to visit your page.
Whether you plan on posting multiple times per day or every other day, you need to schedule your posts. There are several apps for that, and you can make use of tools like Planoly.
Taking some time to pick the best pictures, the right hashtags, and writing impressive captions will actually increase your followers and engagement frequency.
Take for example one of the biggest Instagram influencers @hudabeauty with 38m followers and counting. She is nothing if not consistent. You will find her posting 3 to 5 posts in a day with 2 to 3 hour gaps.
#5 Increase Your INSTAGRAM Engagement!
Captivating captions and asking a question within those captions will go a long way. When you post a photo, don’t waste this opportunity by putting just emojis! This is your chance to share something emotional or ask questions to strike up a convo with your audience.
Instagram is meant for sharing content as well as sharing experiences, so spend as much time coming up with a good caption as you did finding your angle. Make people want to comment, like, share, or tag their friends and engage with it.
Every time you post something, make use of the audience that checks your Instagram stories to direct them to your new post by posting the same on your Instagram story, or asking them for their opinion.
This will actually prompt them to go to your profile and comment on your post.
Another thing you can do is go live on Instagram; this is where you share behind the scenes or emotional response to that content so that people are more likely to engage with that piece of content.
Reply back to your comments, and by that, I mean genuine response. Not the boring “Thank you for your comment” or “ appreciate it” response. When someone says something meaningful, you do the same.
Also, comment on potential followers’ contents; this will help spark a conversation and build relationships with your audience.
#6 Upload High-Quality Posts
If you want to know how to become an Instagram influencer, uploading high-quality posts is how you start. Instagram is a visual platform, and so you need to upload high-quality content in order to attract an audience.
Everything I’ve mentioned can only work if the quality of your posts is top-notch. You can’t expect people to like, comment, or even follow your profile when you have blurry or grainy photos. It just doesn’t work that way.
Brands are looking for nothing but the best, they want someone who can accurately represent their services, products, and locations and if you struggle to create high-quality content, they’re probably going to ignore you. Here’s an example of high-quality content:
Try to invest in a good camera or a decent smartphone. While you don’t have to be an expert to take good photos, just make sure you have a basic knowledge about lighting, good composition, and angles.
#7 Reach Out to Brands and Influencers
It’s very competitive to be the best on Instagram, especially if you want to be an influencer. Having good connections with other influencers in your niche can significantly help in growing your account.
Spend time to find similar accounts, and comment on their posts and kick up a conversation. This will make way for future collaborations.
Once you’ve hit the 1k mark (of followers), start reaching out to your favorite brands.
You can use brand-related hashtags when you post or take part in their campaigns; this will grab their attention.
Don’t be worried about not getting a response, simply pitch them about how working with you will benefit them and if you have followers that are engaged to your content, they’re more likely to collaborate with you.
Although you might not hear back from them instantly and not all brands will want to work with you, you’ll start receiving positive responses eventually.
Make sure you mention your email in your bio and be prepared to provide your analytics to companies that may try to reach out. Things like monthly website visits, follower growth, clicks on your links, and engagement rates are what brands are looking for.
Sponsorships are fantastic but don’t ever sell out, think about what kind of influencer you want to be. If you’re a make-up influencer and promote workout supplements, it’s completely irrelevant.
Only promote products or brands you genuinely believe in and the ones your followers will benefit from. When you have a standard and stick to it, you’ll not only become more appealing to relevant brands but also build a strong trust with your audience.
This might sound discouraging, but simply knowing how to become an Instagram influencer isn’t enough. Plus, it’s tough to maintain aesthetic and post often. It also takes time to come up with good content simultaneously.
The good thing is, if you persevere and hold on, the end result will definitely be worth it. You will not only be able to influence and engage with thousands of followers but also get to work with your favorite brands, and hopefully, this guide on how to become an influencer on Instagram will help you fight half the battle!