Reaching 2017 we cannot say that conventional careers are still the way to go as, stated as a proven fact, most people each day find their way through entrepreneurialism, marketing, social media or arts to craft a unique path to success thanks to the engagement they manage to craft with their audience.
Instagram is considered the place to go for incipient photographers to promote their portfolios or boost their creativity skills, but it can turn out to be a good way of making money.
“Instapreneurs” is the name marketing experts give to this new venture in social media, and these people happen to found the way to turn followers into a constant amount of income.
Surely, building up a career through social media will take time, especially on platforms like Instagram or Pinterest, as followers are harder to retain and success doesn’t seem as immediate as with YouTube; but, putting effort is well paid if you thrive on the adventure of an independent professional.
Let’s go through some key points to help us build a successful Instagram career:
1. Image quality is the core element to consider
Most people tend to neglect the fact that Instagram is a social network of its own. Popular Instagrammers have been offered promos that rank as high as discounts in exclusive hotels – and by popular we mean users with over 1 million followers, insane indeed but not uncommon if you look closely. So, you may ask: what do they offer that I don’t?
The simple answer is photographs. Professional Instausers have taken their business seriously and developed their photography skills as they know it’s not just adding tonnes of filters and vignetting effects to make the images stand out – quite the opposite.
You just need to ‘find your voice’ to create a unique style that surely can catch the attention of a broad audience; avoiding common mistakes as overdoing post-production effects, pixelated images or ignoring composition rules altogether.
2. Develop your passion through images
It’s all about building your niche, so if you love to travel, then use Instagram as a way to broadcast your adventures. By this you shouldn’t take as the fact that you need to photograph every single aspect of each place you visit – that’s annoying for most users. Use your creativity to show unique places or unforgettable moments you experience, like if you were writing a diary, but with images.
If you feel somewhat overwhelmed by the challenge, look for trendy users at your desired niche: that’s the best way to learn from seeing what professionals do.
2. Don’t forget your audience
People are eager to interact with other users, but to do so, you must keep two factors in mind:
- Use hashtags: for the photos you post, engage on relevant hashtags to make them available for other users. No one is going to interact with you if they don’t know what you have to offer.
- Like, repost and comment are valid ways to boost your presence: Everybody likes a rub on their back if they do a good job. A nice comment like “superb job!” / “nice shot” / “really gorgeous, where did you take it?” are ice-breakers, and certainly, can help to build your very own audience.
Keep a steady routine for doing your publications: by doing so, users will get the habit that your posts are done at certain time(s) of the day, and will become expectant to them. If you can’t commit to the daily post basis, then one post each two days will suffice – but don’t go further than that.
Live feeds and Instagram Stories are becoming ‘the thing’ to follow lately, even stealing users from other social media networks that provided similar services, like Snapchat.
4. Keep track of your followers
After all that effort made into building an audience, you should take your time to direct them to the most profitable way you can find. For example, if you own a brand, then you should put your efforts towards making them buy your products/visiting your store.
In case you happen to be a travel photographer, then perhaps you may want to direct users to watch your YouTube videos of the trips you made since, as you probably may know, YouTube pays for a number of views reached.
There are a lot of valid methods for keeping tabs on how your profile is doing and the exact amount of followers you have (Instagram can be very vague after you go over 10k followers), tools like Gramblast are a fantastic resource to add to our Instagram toolkit.
Remember to automate the most tasks you can – it’s the faster and most reliable method for not forgetting anything, especially when you have several things to handle at the same time. Buffer, for example, can help us to schedule post up for a month’s time if we desire, even shortening URLs added to posts to make them look more friendly.
Also keep an eye on hashtags: 30 hashtags per post is the max amount Instagram allows. If you go over it, the photo won’t be posted or, in case it does, text won’t show up since you exceeded the limit of hashtags allowed. Tools like Hashtagify are incredibly useful for finding related hashtags for your post.
Be patient and don’t expect to be a Instastar overnight – Building an active audience takes time and effort, but which career doesn’t? Good luck!