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How to Become an Instagram Influencer – Tips, Tricks & My Personal Story!
Welcome to 2018.. a time in age where you can make money (and a lot of it!) by simply documenting your day-to-day life. While blogging made this idea mainstream, it really never had the impact that Instagram has today. Specifically, in the last couple years, we’ve seen more and more “average joes” turn their daily lives into something worth watching, and something worth paying for!
So, what exactly am I talking about?? Well, Instagram Influencers of course! You know the ones. The beautiful girls rocking bikinis in Bali, the fashion forward men covered head to toe in designer digs, and even the tiny little teacup puppies gnawing on small batch dog treats..
These people (and animals) are documenting their lives through beautiful photography and are getting paid by well-known brands to do it! Yes, this is a possibility in today’s age and if you haven’t caught on yet.. you can become an Instagram Influencer too!
In this blog post I’ll share my experience as an Instagram influencer and six ways you can get started today!
Before I give you my top tips for becoming an Instagram Influencer, I want to quickly share my story with you… While I’m not your traditional Instagram Influencer, I do have free product sent to me on the regular, as well as a continual income stream from sponsored posts.
How? Well.. I created a hub where aspiring Instagrammers want to be featured! If you’re new to me.. you might not know that I created and run the Instagram account @menandcoffee. On this feed I share a curation of photos that my audience loves and because I’ve built such a large following around it, I’m treated as an Instagram influencer!
What makes someone an Instagram Influencer? Well, they have the power to influence their audience to do something! When it comes to @menandcoffee, my account has the influence to bring an influx of followers to the men posted, traffic to a website mentioned in my bio or caption, or purchases of coffee-related products and services I promote!
So, if you don’t think you’re the right candidate for a typical Instagram Influencer journey, don’t fret.. there are ways around it! If you’re thinking of creating a feature account, make sure you pick a very specific niche and always ask for permission before sharing someones content!
Now, that’s one side of my business. On the other hand, as an Instagram mentor I am constantly exposed to stunning accounts of Influencers and I must admit.. I can get a little jealous. I want to live that life too! So for 2018 I’ve turned my personal Instagram profile @alextooby, public and am participating in more photoshoots in an attempt to build up my presence and maybe even be considered a traditional Instagram Influencer one day! 😉Want to be a part of my journey? Click here to follow @alextooby!
6 Tips to Becoming an Instagram Influencer
1. Capitalize on Your Uniqueness
What makes you different than everyone else on this earth? That’s what you need to focus on and be willing to show everyone! This is what makes you special, sets you a part and makes an impact. Maybe you’re a comedian, have a rare condition, or can touch your tongue to your elbow (dare you to try it!)
In a sea of over 400,000,000 Instagram users it’s important that you set yourself apart. Find that uniqueness and FOCUS on it! It may be uncomfortable at first but it’ll be worth it.
2. Don’t Be Shy
Want to become an Instagram Influencer? Well then ditch any insecurities you have and get ready to BARE IT ALL. The most successful Instagram influencers today are the ones that let their audience in. That share all the ups, downs, good’s and bad’s of their lives. By being open, honest and truly yourself, you create a space that makes people comfortable, trusting and happy to connect.
Being an Instagram influencer is all about your relationship with your audience – you have to be able to influence them of course! So by showing the deepest, darkest sides of you and not being shy about it, you create a safe space for people to connect to you, relate to you, and build those impactful relationships needed to be successful in this career.
3. Document, Don’t Create
As the social media mogul, Gary Vaynerchuk says, “document, don’t create”. When he says this he’s encouraging everything you do to be content for your social media channels. Eating breakfast at a swanky spot? Share it on Instagram Stories! Having a business meeting with a potential client? Record it and turn it into a youtube video! Doing a photoshoot? Share the best images to Instagram and the outtakes to an Instagram story!
Creating content doesn’t have to be a headache. As a follower we want to see EVERYTHING you’re doing, so simply documenting your day-to-day is enough to engage us and keep us wanting more.
4. Choose & Stick to an Aesthetic
A simple idea, yet a difficult task to implement.. Picking an aesthetic and sticking to it can be tough but will be a major key to your success as an Instagram influencer. Having a cohesive feed that guides your audience from one picture to the next is how you keep people on your feed longer and engaging with each and every one of your posts.
Here’s a few examples:
5. Invest in a high quality camera or photographer
Having quality images makes all the difference on Instagram. Brands are looking for the best of the best to accurately represent their products, services and locations. Because of this, they’re not likely to work with someone who struggles to capture quality images so you definitely need to make this a priority!
While a lot of influencers somehow manage to find a hunky boyfriend who also acts as their photographer (how do I find myself one of these?!), that’s not going to be the case for everyone. If you need to take your own photos, invest in a high quality camera and tripod (I like the GorillaPod – you can wrap it around anything!) Hire a local photographer to take a variety of images for you, or reach out to photographers on Instagram and propose a collab!
6. Make yourself available for sponsorships & collaborations
Make sure you have your email listed in your bio and are prepared to provide social stats to any company that might reach out to you. Things like follower growth, engagement rate, clicks on your link and monthly website traffic are all things brands might be curious about. You can add all the insights you have into a media kit (I love these templates!) to easily show off how awesome you are!
Now, don’t forget… we all want to be offered sponsorships, but remember, don’t sell out! Only promote things you truly believe in and think your audience would benefit from. By having a standard that you stick to, not only will you be more appealing to brands, you’ll simultaneously build a strong and authentic presence!
Do you want to become an Instagram Influencer?
Let me know in the comments below!