Instagram is home to over one billion active users. This makes it a great spot to lay down roots and begin growing your personal brand and developing influence over your target audience.
Learning how to become an Instagram influencer isn’t as easy as 1-2-3, but by using the ten steps broken down in this article you’ll be on your way to building a loyal following.
How to Become an Instagram Influencer Using a Long-Term Strategy
Whether it’s the glitz and glam of crafting a community of loyal followers or the ability to endlessly create content that fuels you, Instagram influencers all start at the same place: zero followers.
Instagram fame and influence isn’t built overnight. But by following the steps laid out below you’ll be able to carve a spot for your personal brand on the platform over time.
1. Pick a Niche
When building an Instagram following, you can’t be a jack of all trades. People follow accounts that appeal to their interests, and it makes sense for you to create content that appeals to your own interests. Consider what you’re already passionate about and pick a topic you’re willing to commit to.
Some currently popular niches include:
- Health and fitness
- Beauty and skincare
- Travel and adventure
- Luxury lifestyle
- Business and money-making insights
It’s important you enjoy what you’re posting about to help prevent burnout down the road.
2. Set Your Profile Up Right
Think of your profile as a pitch to potential followers. They’re going to follow you if you show clearly what your account is all about and provide a clear aesthetic from the get-go. Make sure the following is up-to-par on your profile:
- Profile picture that fits the aesthetic of your feed
- Bio that clearly describes what your account is about
- Link to an off-platform presence, preferably your website
- Business account settings activated
You might be curious as to why you should make yourself, an individual, a business account. Business accounts on Instagram provide a wealth of insight through advanced data. This will show you when your followers are active, what posts are top performers, and more.
3. Focus On Aesthetic and Building a Brand Voice
If you sound different in each post and have a non-existent aesthetic, you’ll have a hard time growing a loyal following. Followers tend to like certain feed styles and will gravitate toward following more accounts that abide by their tastes.
Developing a clear editing style for your photos and a specific way of writing captions will help to set you aside from the plethora of other accounts users can choose to follow.
4. Create a Content Calendar Based on Frequency and Consistency
Consistency and frequency are the name of the game. If you are posting every day for one week each month consistently, you’ll fail in the consistency department. And if you’re posting once every Saturday, you’ll fail in the frequency department.
Try posting twice a week and slowly increase your frequency from there at a manageable rate. You don’t want the quality of your photos or captions to drop in favor of more frequent posts.
Ultimately, you’ll need to develop a schedule that works for you. Not every creator can produce fresh work three times a day, which is okay. But that doesn’t mean you should be posting on a bi-weekly basis.
5. Focus on Hashtags at the Start
Strategic hashtag usage can get your posts in front of a new audience. The key, however, is to avoid oversaturated hashtags.
For example, if you’re just starting out, you shouldn’t be using the hashtag skincare. It’s just too saturated.
Instead, look for opportunities to include relevant hashtags with only a few hundred to a few thousand associated posts. This will keep you from getting lost in a sea of posts.
And remember, only use hashtags relevant to your personal brand and the particular post. For example, you shouldn’t use the hashtag dog on a post about coffee.
6. Engage with Those Outside Your Network
You shouldn’t just be engaging with those who reach out to you. Search for other users through relevant hashtags and engage with their posts.
If you want to work it into your daily schedule, you could set a goal of liking and commenting on fifty posts a day.
Engaging with others’ posts will lead them to your profile and drive interest in following you.
7. Engage with Your Followers
This goes without saying, but you shouldn’t be ignoring your followers. Take a look at their recent posts and drop a like or a comment. Plus, never ignore comments on your own posts.
Be candid, open, and real with your followers. It’s the best way to inspire loyalty.
The best practice is to reply as quickly as you can to all comments. But as you grow, it may be hard to drop everything and respond to a slew of messages. Don’t fret, just give yourself a 24-hour window to respond to comments.
8. Build Relationships with Other Influencers
Other influencers are like colleagues at your office, you don’t want to be their enemy. In fact, these are the people who can relate to your struggles and problems. Reach out and build relationships with other influencers in an organic and friendly manner.
If you’re lucky, this won’t just result in a friendship. You could benefit from introductions and recommendations to brands or key figures within your niche.
9. Strategically Monetize Your Personal Brand
Now that you’ve created a loyal following and solidified your brand voice and aesthetic, it’s time to monetize your personal brand.
Don’t be afraid to pitch yourself to brands within your niche. You can draw attention to the high engagement rate your profile garners instead of follower count. At the end of the day, brands are more interested in how much engagement your account drives over how many followers you’ve accrued.
You can start this process of monetizing and brand outreach once you’ve reached over one thousand followers.
10. Expedite the Process Using Posting Tools
Now that you’re in the grove of creating content, communicating with brands, and organizing a content calendar, you’ll want to create flow for the entire process. That’s where posting tools come in.
Scheduling in advance during one sit-down content creation session can free up time throughout your week. This means you’ll have more time to monitor comments and connect with your followers.
If you have a Mac, you’re in luck. Follow the in-depth guide available at https://setapp.com/how-to/how-to-post-to-instagram-from-mac for all the details you’ll need on scheduling posts. Setapp houses a suite of apps made with content creation and social media management in mind.
Growing Your Personal Brand as an Instagram Influencer
Now that you know how to become an Instagram influencer, all that’s left is to get started. Aim to earn your first thousand followers before turning your eyes to one million.
It’s a pleasant daydream to know that those with over a million followers are raking in around $250,000 per post on Instagram. But it’s better for you to focus on where your Instagram influence is currently rather than where it’ll be years down the road.
Check out more social media tips in our other blogs to expand your knowledge of social media usage and influence.