Gone are the days that social media platforms were only used by millennials to post badly captured pictures and tweet incessantly. Social media means a lot more these days, not just to people but also to many brands and businesses alike. Today, I’ll show you everything you need to know on how to become an Instagram influencer.
Becoming an Instagram influencer is one of the most important jobs a person can have in 2021. So it’s no surprise that you’re here trying to figure out how exactly to become an influencer and make a living out of it.
There are tricks, tips, and hacks that you should be aware of which will enable you to build a great following and even more important, a relevant personal brand. But like with all good things, it takes putting in the work and patience as well.
That being said, there are some of the best practices that can help you grow a personal brand and command an enthusiastic community.
Here’s what you need to get started on your journey as an Instagram influencer:
- Find a niche:
The first thing you want to think about before you even make that single post go live is finding a niche. I’m sure you’ve heard a lot of blog posts rant about how important a niche is. That’s only because it is. The best Instagram influencers or pages that stand out are the ones that are known for something distinct or unique. It makes it easier for people to remember, which in turn makes it easier for people to visit your page more often and even share interesting content with their friends.
The best part about being an influencer is that you can choose a niche that is most likely whatever it is that you’re passionate about (so no, the job isn’t exclusive to only models and fashion vloggers).
If you’re passionate about art, poetry, sports, film, music, you should have a page that projects that. You could even create content based on whatever your profession is. For example, if you’re a dietician, creating engaging content that encourages your audience to make healthier diet decisions. And you can think of creative ways to pass your message across.
So, there are no limits to what you can do with your page. If you’re feeling a lack of inspiration, you can easily browse through some of your favorite Instagram pages that are similar to what you have in mind.
- Optimize your Instagram bio
The second step on how to become an Instagram influencer is to optimize your bio.
Think of your Instagram bio as the home page of a website. It’s the first thing your audience will see when they stumble on your page.
It also allows them to immediately understand what it is that you do and what your page is about. That’s why it needs to be interesting, concise and crystal clear.
A simple format to guide you write your bio includes:
- Include your keywords in your description. Relevant keywords enable new users to locate your page because Instagram filters out pages that match their search. If you’re a sports enthusiast, make sure you add the words sports, exercise, fitness, or whatever keyword that is relevant.
- Start with three words that describe you. Let’s go back to our dietician example. You would have something similar to this:
Dietician. Food lover. Nutritionist.
- Make a shortlist of your accomplishments, that includes your degree if you think it’s relevant. So if you have a Nobel Prize or close, that would be a good time to put it along.
- And lastly, a short sentence of why people should follow you.
Eg: Helping people live healthier and happier lives.
- Include any external links you may have, such as a link to your website or blog.
Here are a few examples that will guide your Instagram bio.
See how they follow a similar pattern? There’s no rule to writing your bio but taking these practices can help new users locate your page and will make a better impression on your community.
- Choose an appealing page style.
At the end of the day, aesthetics is what wins the day. Instagram is a very visually-driven platform so you simply cannot ignore the aesthetics of your page.
For your page to stand out, you have to decide on a page style and remain consistent with it. One of the ways you can do this is picking a color palette and also a group of fonts that you would use (if ever) throughout your page. Bearing this in mind, the filters for your pictures have to match your palette so your Instagram page doesn’t come off as disorganized.
- Research relevant hashtags
The importance of hashtags for your page growth cannot be overstressed. The way hashtags work is that those hashtags that you infuse into your posts show up on other people’s feed, which increases your page visibility. For this to work, it has to be relevant to your content and also carry a lot of traction as well.
You can easily carry out hashtag research by carrying out a page audit on similar Instagram pages and making a list of the most used hashtags that are popular. Also simply typing out some words on the search bar gives a list of options that you can choose from.
When picking out your hashtags, ensure that you have a mix of hashtags with high engagement (1Million and above) and lower engagement (5k-above). Doing this helps your post to get lost in the overwhelming sea of posts that use the same hashtags. Thousands of posts are being uploaded every second, having a mix of hashtags with lower traction gives you a better chance at being noticed.
- Create engaging content
Now for the fun part. This is the only reason why your followers are sticking around—your content. This means you have to create content that engages, amuses, educates, informs and entertains.
How exactly can you do this? Knowing who your target audits give you a great start. You have to know what problem it is that you’re trying to solve or what gap that you’re trying to bridge. And understanding how you can tailor it to your target audiences.
Some questions that can help you develop your content.
- Who is my target audience?
- What problems/pain points/needs do they have?
- What are their likes and dislikes?
- How can I solve these needs?
- Why will my content be unique/what will be my differentiator?
Again, taking a road trip through other pages on Instagram or even other social media platforms can help kickstart some brilliant ideas.
Now that you’re all started.
You need to grow your page and make sure that your community is building and not just dormant.
What to do Next?
- Don’t ignore Instagram Analytics
Measuring your failures and successes is an important part of your growth as an Instagram influencer. This helps you keep a track of the numbers of new followers and unfollows. It also helps you understand what posts are performing well and the ones that aren’t.
As a rule of thumb, carry out a personal page audit every month and make a list of your highest performing posts and replicate them for subsequent posts.
- Promote your best content
What’s the point of creating great content when no one is going to see it? That’s where promotion comes in.
You can decide to develop a unique and separate content to promote or you can as well ahead with promoting your best performing content (the one with a lot of engagement).
To promote your page, make your Instagram a business account., Also, link your handle to your Facebook page so that you can run ads. Instagram ads are more flexible than they used to be so your promoted content will appear on feeds and stories as well depending on what you decide on when setting up your ad.
- Understand the Triangle of Engagement
Having a thousand likes is not the only thing that counts anymore. According to Instagram’s algorithm, the fairly new feature called Save is of more importance than a like or a comment. When a good number of people save your post, Instagram interprets it as being very relevant to them, and therefore boosts its reach to more audiences. The same follows with shares and then comments. The last on the triangle is likes (which ironically, people think is more important.)
Never forget to encourage people to save and share your posts with friends of friends.
- Partner with other micro-influencers
When you build an authentic personal brand, you can now reach out to other micro or macro influencers for collaboration. This gives you greater exposure by directing the audiences of other influences to their circle. Co-creation is another way to try something different on your page as well as build greater followership.
Stay authentic to your brand
Remember the reason your community loves you is that you have something unique to offer. Stay authentic to your brand and be the influencer that your community admires.
That’s all you need on how to become an Instagram influencer. So what’s your biggest challenge when you try to become one?