Tips
May 6, 2022

How to become an Instagram influencer

Becoming a successful Instagram influencer is more achievable than ever, thanks to various income channels influencers can easily harness for themselves online. But just because it’s an achievable goal doesn’t always mean that it’s an easy one.
Jessica Li
Chief of Staff

10 tips to be a successful Instagram influencer

Although being an Instagram influencer can sometimes look fun and easy, it does take a lot of work. The fun is part of it, but there are times when you’ll spend more time strategizing about your content than actually producing content — and sometimes it’s the other way around.

If you’re willing to follow the right strategies and put in the hard work, you can work your way up to influencer status and monetize your Instagram presence. Here are some tips on how to do it!

How to become Instagram famous

Keep in mind that being Instagram famous doesn’t necessarily mean you’re the next Kardashian. There is a wide range of Instagram fame levels. If you can carve out your own niche of Instagram’s audience and find a way to monetize that audience, then you’ve reached a good level of Instagram fame that not many others can claim. These are some steps you can take to help you reach that level and beyond.

1. Choose a niche

It’s rare that someone’s social media profile is going to appeal to absolutely everyone on the platform. If you’re looking to find success on Instagram, the first thing you’ll want to do is choose a niche. The best way to do that is to sit down and think about what interests you. The most successful influencers typically find a niche that is true to them. Not only will this resonate more with your followers, but it will also make it easier for you to enjoy the process and create powerful content.

Think about it! There may be a huge niche for baked goods on Instagram, but if you hate baking, how far do you think you’ll actually be able to take your profile? Do something you love, and your followers will love you for it! It helps if you’re already fairly knowledgeable on the subject and have information you want to share.

2. Create in all content formats

Instagram was once used exclusively for pictures, but it has since expanded its media options. Now, you can upload videos, post on your stories, create Reels, and even livestream. As an influencer trying to build an audience, you should be taking advantage of all these different content formats.

In order to make the most of these formats, you’ll want to master their different quirks and features. The more you post and the more content you create, the better you’ll get at using these formats and effectively communicating your ideas with them. Remember, no one’s profile is going to start off perfect, so just make sure to continue to be authentic when strategizing for content creation. 

And you don’t necessarily have to use these content formats all of the time! You can primarily stick to what you do best and supplement that with the other content formats. If you’re an expert at posing for pictures and creating captions, then stick to posting those and spice it up every once in a while with a video or story upload. A common tactic is posting stories or videos about your process, giving your followers a behind-the-scenes look at how you create content.

3. Use hashtags

Instagram’s hashtags are one of the best ways to help people discover your page. When you use hashtags, people will be able to happen upon your page when they’re searching for their interests or browsing posts from trending topics.

Of course, you’ll need to be selective with your hashtag usage. Just flooding your post with hashtags isn’t going to make a huge difference, and it could annoy your current followers while also confusing the Instagram algorithm and potentially flagging your content as spammy. Do research to see what hashtags are popular or trending. Also, make sure to research which hashtags resonate with your niche audience. 

Instagram has a handy feature for suggesting hashtags, so that’s a good place to start. You can also check out influencers you admire in your niche and see what’s working for them. Also, don’t be afraid to jump on a hashtag trend if it makes sense for your profile. This can help you gain followers quickly and organically.

4. Engage with your followers

Nothing shows your followers that you care about them more than actually engaging them on Instagram! It doesn’t always have to be super involved, either. Just liking or responding to a few comments is enough to let followers know you’re paying attention.

But you should definitely take your engagement efforts further than this on occasion. Show your followers you care about what they want to see and that you’re paying attention to what they want. Conduct polls, ask followers questions, hold a Q&A session, and repost their photos on your story.

The engagement and enthusiasm you offer your followers are bound to be matched by them, encouraging them to pay closer attention to your content. It also gets you closer to your followers and helps inspire you to create relevant content specifically tailored to them.

5. Network with other influencers

Your followers aren’t the only ones you should be engaging with. It pays to network with other influencers as well. You can learn a lot from influencers who have been doing this longer or who are at a higher level of success than you. Don’t be afraid to reach out to them to try to forge a connection.

On the flip side, don’t forget where you came from! When you start getting bigger, don’t forget to connect with influencers who are working their way up! You can actually learn from them as well.

In general, getting in fierce competition with your fellow influencers isn’t going to provide much benefit for anyone. Instead, see how you can collaborate and help one another grow. This will be more productive for everyone, and it will be something exciting for followers when they see you cross over and collaborate with other accounts they follow.

6. Write meaningful captions

Sometimes a short, witty caption is all you need, but that shouldn’t be every caption you post. Captions allow you to establish your voice and show your followers your knowledge and the value of your page.

You can also engage with your followers via your captions, asking them questions and inviting them to hit the comment section. Ignoring captions is a missed opportunity, as it can provide a lot of context for a post and give you more space to build your online persona. 

Here are some tips for making a great caption:

  • Include an engaging call to action that encourages some kind of participation from your followers. Try something like asking them to visit your link in bio, comment with their opinion, or anything that gets them to engage with the post on a deeper level.
  • Make your first sentence something that grabs their attention and draws them in.
  • Keep sentences short and sweet. You don’t want your caption to seem like it’s rambling.
  • Use relevant hashtags.
  • Use emojis to spice things up where appropriate.

As you discover your voice and get better at writing captions, the process will become more natural to you.

7. Learn about your audience

The more you know about your audience, the better you can tailor your content to them. Find out who’s following your page and why. Who else are they following? What value are they getting from following you?

You can use Instagram analytics to start learning about your audience, but make sure you dig in on a deeper level too. Ask your audience questions and poll them about content. This will help you understand what resonates with them and what doesn’t. The clearer the picture you have of who your audience is, the better your profile will be able to reflect their wants and interests.

8. Return the engagement

We touched briefly on engaging with your audience but be sure you take extra care to interact with them when they’re actively engaging you. If they ask questions in direct messages, make sure to answer them. If they’re having conversations in the comments, don’t be afraid to jump in and join the discussion!

You can also reward your followers for engagement. For instance, a giveaway that encourages them to share the post and tag friends in the comments will help increase your reach and potentially let more people discover your page. It will also make your followers happy that they follow your page.

9. Use a link in bio tool

Another great way to expand your reach and connect your followers to the rest of your online persona is with a link in bio tool. A link in bio tool can send your followers to your personal website, where they can find tons of links to other profiles and content; buy your merch, products, or services; and much more.

This will help consolidate your audience across platforms and make it easier to monetize your Instagram profile. Beacons is a great link in bio tool that is free to use if you’re looking to add one to your profile.

10. Collaborate with brands

As your Instagram presence grows, your opportunities are going to increase. Brands will be interested in collaborating and working with you. There are a few ways this could come about: A brand could reach out to you directly, you can reach out to a brand, or you can join an influencer network to get connected to the right brands. 

The important thing is staying true to your online persona and only working with brands that seem like an authentic match. You’ve worked hard to gain the trust of your audience, so you shouldn’t partner with just any brand. Make sure to choose brands your followers will love and that you can genuinely recommend to them. If you choose something that doesn’t fit your niche, your followers are bound to notice, and it could affect the trust they have in you.

The bigger your profile gets, the more offers you’ll field. So keep in mind that you don’t have to feel like the first brand that comes knocking will be your only opportunity. If one offer is on the table, there are bound to be more. Always remember that you bring value to the brand — it’s not just a one-way street.

Do influencers get paid?

Influencers can get paid through a number of income streams. They can get money from brand collaborations and sponsorships, sell merch, sell products or services, and monetize their presence on other social media channels. As an influencer, there will be a lot of different ways for you to make money. Make sure you consider which methods are best for you and try to implement any income streams that make sense into your strategy.

How many followers do you need?

It really depends on your reach and the level of engagement your audience has. You can have as few as 1,000 followers on Instagram and still have monetization potential. If your page is filling a specific niche and the majority of your followers are engaged, brands are going to be interested.

Of course, the more followers you have, the more opportunities you’ll have.

Grow with Beacons today!

If you’re looking to grow your Instagram following and monetize your profile, Beacons can help. Our platform includes tools for easily building your own custom website, setting up an eCommerce store, and including a link in bio to direct fans to your website and other social channels.

If you want to put the best version of yourself online, Beacons can help. Discover why millions of creators are already using Beacons. Sign up for free today.

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