Influencers have always been around, even before the newest definition of the word was added to the English dictionary in 2019. It started with the royal family when Queen Charlotte endorsed pottery made by Josiah Wedgwood. As time passed by, the list of influencers began growing to include more groups of people like fashion icons, celebrities, athletes, supermodels, and even fictional characters.
However, the modernization of the Internet and the rise of social media platforms – especially, Instagram – have ushered in a new breed of influencers consisting of mostly ordinary people. Believe it or not, a huge part of the consumer population today trusts Instagram influencers more than conventionally prominent people. As a result, influencer marketing was born.
Now, it may seem all so easy. What most don’t know is that, while being an Instagram influencer seems to be a glamorous career, it does take a lot of work. But if this is something you want to have a shot at, here are five tips that may help launch you as an Instagram influencer:
- Find the niche right for you
Instagram influencers aren’t just people who post pretty pictures online. They should also provide value to their audience by sharing their knowledge about a particular subject. So, it’s important to have a specific niche once you decide to become an Instagram influencer.
To pick a niche, ask yourself what you are passionate about. Do you love to travel and explore different cuisines? Do you know the best beauty products or tech gadgets? You can’t share your knowledge and expertise about something you don’t know. So, you have to pick the best from your pool of various interests and pour all your efforts into it.
Moreover, you should make sure that your niche is something that you love to talk about. Remember that you’re going to spend a lot of time researching and talking about it. You can combine two categories but ensure that they work well together. Don’t post about random stuff or else it will be hard for you to grow a dedicated following.
- Create high-quality content in all forms
You can’t be an Instagram influencer if you have nothing to offer and the only way you can provide something to your audience is through your content. So, posting content consistently is a must. It also helps if you make use of all content forms that Instagram offers (photos, videos, stories, reels, and IGTV) for wider reach.
However, don’t just bombard your audience with tons of content for the sake of it. Make sure that everything you share is of high quality. Sometimes, you have to invest in good equipment and learn relevant skills such as photography and editing. Take note that your photos shouldn’t only look good individually. They should also look good when viewed alongside your other posts.
Also, high-quality content is not complete without captions. Times have changed. It’s no longer enough to post photos and call it a day. Your audience needs and wants more than that. So, take this opportunity to share your stories and knowledge. This will also increase your engagement as interesting, informative and entertaining captions can help you connect better with your audience.
- Don’t forget to use relevant hashtags
There are various social media tactics to increase your follower count and one of them is to put hashtags on your posts. These words with the pound (#) sign before them allow your content to appear in search results for all Instagram users to see. You can add up to 30 hashtags per post, although using just a few well-chosen ones is the norm.
However, you still have to be strategic when using hashtags. Check the search volumes before you use them as hashtags with high search volumes may not do you any good due to the amount of competition. It’s better to use hashtags with search volumes ranging from 10,000 to 1 million so that there’s a chance for you to be on the top results.
If you’re at a loss for what hashtags to use, you can go and take a peek at other Instagram influencers and see what they’re using. Another tip is to keep your hashtags specific. This will ensure that you will be found by the audience that is right for you.
- Engage with your followers
Instagram is a social media platform, so interaction and engagement are essential. Through your posts, connect with your audience and let them connect to one another too. This allows you to build a solid community, which should be one of your top priorities as an Instagram influencer.
Talk to your followers from time to time. A simple reply to their comments or messages can elicit a huge amount of excitement. Try to picture yourself in their position or imagine yourself in relation to your favorite personalities. Your audience will also be touched if you recognize them as real people other than just your Instagram followers.
To get a reaction from people, you can add a call-to-action at the end of your captions or have your followers ask you any questions on your Instagram Stories. You can also thank your followers through a shoutout. Another fun idea is to offer giveaways or host a quick contest. Don’t forget to comment and leave likes for other people’s content, too!
- Connect with relevant brands
Once you’re done with the basics (picking a niche, filling your feed with content, and growing your follower count), you can now reach out to brands. Start by tagging them on your posts. This will put your Instagram page on their map. They could feature you on their Instagram account, which will make you more visible to a wider audience.
For a more serious collaboration, send them a message or email them. Make sure that these brands align with your niche. Provide them with a solid pitch that explains why your audience is relevant to their brand. If you succeed in securing a collaboration, you can finally start earning income as an Instagram influencer.
You can also reach out to Instagram influencer marketing platforms and PR firms to make it easier to connect with brands. In addition, prepare a media kit, which is like your CV as an Instagram influencer. It should contain all your social media handles, follower counts, audience demographics, analytical results, website, brands you’ve worked with, and sample content.
Now that you have the basics, you can start your journey to becoming an Instagram influencer. Just remember that this isn’t just about creating a pretty feed or having thousands of followers. You need passion and be ready to work hard. You also need to be prepared to branch out to other platforms to seek more opportunities and that requires even more time.
Moreover, you should brace yourself for the competition ahead as you’re not the only one who intends to pursue this career. Still, you’ll do great as long as you lay the groundwork, focus on your goals, offer something new and valuable, and establish strong relationships with your community. Good luck!