Instagram has changed significantly since launching in 2010. Becoming a successful influencer isn’t as easy as it was only a few years ago. However, even though it’s more challenging, it isn’t impossible.
How can you achieve influencer status today?
Although old-school tactics might not be as effective anymore, there are several simple tricks you can use to grow your following. You’re likely already familiar with the standard tips. Post consistently, take high-quality photos and stick to a theme.
We’re not going to repeat the basics. Instead, we’re going to focus on giving you a few hacks that can help you build a stunning and effective Instagram influencer profile.
Top 10 Simple Hacks to Achieve Influencer Status
Before we get into the tips, remember that being an influencer is a career. It would be best if you market yourself online. As with any business, it’s a good idea to have a plan. It would be best to outline how you want to approach your profile and social “brand” appearance.
The simple tips and strategies we’ve listed below can help you:
- Create an engagement community.
- Earn collaborations and sponsorships.
- Build a successful influencer profile.
Many influencers will swear by these tips. However, keep in mind that their efficacy depends on your niche and audience.
There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to marketing yourself on Instagram. Take the time to try out different hacks to see which ones work for you.
- Find a Niche
- Come up With Content Ideas
- Use Batching to Optimize Your Time
- Meaningful Captions and Microblogs
- Build and Engage Your Community
- Transparency and Honesty
- Use Insights and Analytics
- Optimize Your Profile
- Diversify Across Platforms
- Networking, Brands, and Sponsorships
1. Find a Niche
If you’re just starting, it may be tempting to create content that’ll appeal to a broad audience. You might fill your profile with posts on various topics, hoping that it improves your chances of reaching more followers.
Unfortunately, you’re likely doing more damage than good.
Imagine a user finding a beautiful photo that you took of your pet. They decide to visit your profile to see more of your gorgeous furry friend. Instead of finding a page filled with cute animal pictures, they’ll find a random mess of selfies, pet pictures, family photos, and beauty tips. The likelihood of converting that visitor into a follower is unlikely.
When people visit your profile, they want to get an idea of what they can expect from you and your content. That’s why it’s critical to find a niche and choose content pillars to focus on.
Keep in mind that finding a niche doesn’t mean that you must post about only one thing. Many Instagram influencers have two or three content pillars that they focus on. However, they should also still appeal to a similar audience. For example:
- Beauty, fashion, and luxury accessories.
- Travel and photography.
- Interior design, minimalism, and art.
Remember to choose things you’re passionate about, and not just trending industries. You’re more likely to invest quality time building your influencer status if you enjoy what you’re doing.
2. Come up With Content Ideas
Once you know your topics, you can create a posting schedule. For example, let’s say that you choose to focus on interior design, minimalism, and art. Your week might look like this:
- Monday: interior design (natural look).
- Tuesday: minimalism (closeup of bedside table with books).
- Wednesday: interior design (minimal accessories).
- Thursday: art (minimalist art feature).
- Friday: a shot of a street gallery.
- Saturday: interior design (favorite books on the topic).
- Sunday: minimalistic color shot.
Try to plan out a few weeks of mock content. If it’s easy or enjoyable to come up with ideas, you know you’ve picked the right topics.
3. Use Batching to Optimize Your Time
.You likely already know how important it is to stay consistent with your posts. However, it can be tricky to have pictures and captions prepared every day, especially if you have a busy schedule. Luckily, there’s a way to get around the problem:
If you’re planning out your content, you should know what you’re going to post for the next week or two. Instead of taking your pictures at the last minute, set out a day or two for a photo shoot. Gather all the props and outfits you’ll need, grab your camera or photographer, and take enough snaps for the whole week!
As you get busier, you won’t have time for last-minute shoots and writing. If you prep content ahead of time, you’ll be able to spend more time building your community and network.
4. Meaningful Captions and Microblogs
Cute three- and four-word captions are quickly becoming a thing of the past.
According to Later, posts that contain 300+ words are more likely to spark engagement and meaningful interactions. HubSpot reports that posts with 1001 – 2000 characters also get more interactions than shorter captions.
It’s a trend that’s seen the growth of microblogging. A photo is worth a thousand words. Writing short blogs or stories to go with them can make posts more attractive to your followers. If you have a blog or e-commerce store, you can also work in a call to action that’ll help drive more traffic to your site.
Keep in mind that users will only see your caption’s first few words. Even the best microblog caption will go unread if you don’t use an eye-catching introduction. Use words to encourage people to open the post.
Consider ideas like:
- 10 ways to improve…
- Your ultimate guide to…
- The best spots for…
- The secret behind the…
- 5 tips to master…
Along with your photo, those few words can be the difference between someone interacting with your post or continuing to scroll.
5. Build and Engage Your Community
Engagement is key! An influencer’s “power” comes from how they can influence a group of people to act. If you don’t take the time to build and engage with your community, you’ll start alienating even your loyal followers.
Ask questions in your posts, do polls, and encourage users to respond or ask their own questions. It’s also a good idea to stay on the app for around 30 minutes after posting so that you can reply to a few comments. Recheck your post later in the day.
Remember, your followers are there for you, just like you’re there for them. Set aside a little time every day to interact with your community.
6. Transparency and Honesty
Instagram users look to influencers for recommendations, inspiration, and advice. By taking on this role, you will be a role model for many people.
While your followers will admire you, they’ll be just as quick to desert you if you try to deceive them. They want to build a real connection, so you must be open, honest, and transparent. Fake doesn’t fly anymore.
Instagram users are also very attentive, and they’ll quickly realize if you’re trying to deceive them. Someone will figure out your secret. Buying followers, lying about your lifestyle, and over-editing will damage your reputation. It’s happened to many influencers, which can ruin a lucrative career.
Of course, very few Instagrammers post completely unedited photos. Most use filters to do minor touch-ups, while others use digital makeup apps or similar tools.
What is digital makeup? It’s the ability to add makeup to your photo without altering your appearance in any unrealistic way. It’s also an excellent way to spice up your images a little.
There’s nothing wrong with cleaning up a photo a little or adding a few filters. Professional photographers use the same methods to create stunning images. However, there’s a line between enhancing what’s real and pretending to be something you’re not.
7. Use Insights and Analytics
Instagram has built-in analytics that can give you insights into your visitors. You can learn about your typical follower’s age range, gender, and location. Consequently, you can optimize your content to suit your audience better.
The information is critical when considering adding a new type of content, product launch, or choosing partner brands. Everything you decide to do needs to appeal to your audience. Otherwise, you’ll end up putting in a lot of effort to hear crickets.
8. Optimize Your Profile
Becoming an influencer on Instagram is like running your own business, so you should treat it as such. Creating and optimizing a professional profile is the first and most important step you’ll be taking as you start your journey.
There are a few things you should do when creating your profile:
Use a photo as your profile avatar.
People are visiting your page profile to see you and your content. Use a photo of yourself as the profile image instead of a logo or generic snapshot.
Make sure you have a business profile.
If you want brands to take you seriously as a potential partner, you need to be listed as a business. It’ll also give you access to useful features such as analytics. You’ll also have the ability to use auto-publishing through social management platforms.
Have a visible email address.
Having a business profile gives you the ability to add a visible email button to your profile. It makes it much easier for brands and agencies to contact you about collaboration. If you have a domain or website, use a professional email address instead of a generic one (Gmail).
Keep your bio updated.
Are you on a new social platform? Add the tag to your profile. Working on a new project? Drop the link into your bio. It gives people an idea of what you’re up to and gives your new activities a little extra exposure.
Invest time and effort to create an effective profile page.
9. Diversify Across Platforms
Being an Instagram influencer doesn’t mean that you should ignore other platforms. In fact, it’s an excellent idea to diversify and spread your influence and reach to more platforms.
For example, many YouTubers will share snippets of their videos as native Facebook ads. Similarly, Instagrammers may include TikTok, YouTube, and Pinterest in their social media portfolio.
Having a website is another excellent idea. It gives you another avenue to interact with your followers. You can send newsletters, share blog posts, and offer a downloadable media kit for interested brands.
A significant benefit of diversification is that you’ll no longer be dependent on a single platform to reach your audience. It also gives you more ways to generate revenue. It’s an excellent selling point with brands looking to partner with influencers.
10. Networking, Brands, and Sponsorships
If you want to live as an Instagram influencer, network, network, network!
For example, you can join marketing platforms like Collectively, and Popular Pays to connect brands. You should also send introductions and links to your media kit to PR firms and agencies.
A media kit is almost like your Influencer resume and should include:
- All your social handles.
- A link to your website.
- The size of your audience across all platforms.
- The demographics of your audience (age, gender, location).
- Examples of your content and style.
- A list of any brands you’ve worked with before.
Remember to partner with brands that suit your style and your audience. It’s also a good idea to limit how many partners you have at any time. Your followers don’t want to see endless posts about sponsored content!
What You Shouldn’t Do as an Instagram Influencer
Instagram’s algorithm is getting smarter, and users are much more attentive. Many “old-school” hacks and sketchy tactics won’t help you in the long run.
- Using social scams.
- Buying fake followers.
- Instagram pods.
- Overediting / photoshopping images.
- Use short captions.
Similarly, buying fake followers will cause your engagement rates to drop, and Instagram may purge your account. It’s not easy to gain followers naturally, but this is one shortcut that won’t do you any favors.
Prepare for the Reality of Being an Instagram Influencer
As a social media star, you’ll face several mental and emotional challenges. It’s critical to understand the reality of being an “Instagrammer” before deciding that it’s the life you want. The glam and glamor may sound appealing. However, there’s a reason why many influencers claim that the lifestyle negatively impacts their mental health.
i. Set Boundaries
No rule says your followers need to see and be involved in every part of your daily life. You can set boundaries and keep your personal life private. For example, snappy men’s fashionista Rainier John never includes any photos that show his face. Other accounts don’t share any information about their personal or family lives.
You can decide what you’re comfortable with sharing, and the rest is off-limits.
ii Haters Will Hate
There’ll always be haters, but that doesn’t make it any easier to cope with negative comments and online harassment. Some may offer constructive criticism, but many others are simply internet trolls. You’ll even encounter those who’ll harass you via direct messages.
Influencers Emily Schumann and Myleik Teele advise influencers to be compassionate. Don’t take angry or mean comments personally. According to them, it’s likely that these individuals are projecting their insecurities onto you. They might also be upset because you succeeded while they failed.
Rather than engaging in a negative back-and-forth, remove yourself from the situation. Take a step back, evaluate, and move on.
You don’t have to be connected 24/7. Living by the rule “pics or it didn’t happen” isn’t a healthy way to live, whether you’re an influencer or not. Even if you’re Instagram famous, you need time to disconnect, recharge, and take care of yourself.
It may be a scary thought, especially if you’re dealing with a fear of missing out (FOMO). However, allow your followers to miss you a little and look forward to your next post rather than flooding them with constant content. Besides, if you’ve built a caring community, they might be the ones encouraging you to take a break!
iv. Care for Your Mental Health
Fame means little when you’re struggling with and hiding your mental and emotional problems. Glamorous influencers may appear to be living the dream. However, many struggle with loneliness, depression, and anxiety.
Tameika Gentles often talks about prioritizing her mental health after becoming Instagram famous. Take the time to spend time with your family, meditate, undergo therapy, and take steps to stay healthy.
The Final Word
Being an Instagram influencer can be a legitimate and rewarding career. However, it also comes with unique challenges. You’ll need time, effort, and dedication to overcome them. If you’re set on pursuing this lifestyle, it’s vital to understand what it means to be an influencer.
Remember to manage and optimize how you spend your time. Plan, strategize and create content that’s valuable to your specific audience. Don’t be afraid to engage with your community in a positive and meaningful way. Focus on being honest and transparent with your audience.
It’s critical to treat your Instagram as a career, not a hobby. That’s why you create a business profile. Diversify across platforms, and take the time to reach out to and network with brands and PR agencies. By incorporating these various tips, you can start building your social influencer’s status.
While these tips can help you grow, remember to take care of yourself. Even a successful influencer needs the time to take a break and look after themselves.
Ashley Lipman is an award-winning writer who discovered her passion for providing knowledge to readers worldwide on topics closest to her heart – all things digital. Since her first high school award in Creative Writing, she delivers awesome content through various niches touching the digital sphere.
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