April 17th, 2018

How to Become an Instagram Influencer: The Basics

James Berry

At present, Instagram is one of the most widely used and engaged social media platforms. Home to more than 800 million monthly active users, with 500 million of them checking in on a daily basis, the platform represents a significant opportunity for gaining social influence. If you want to grow an engaged following on Instagram, you have to establish your brand in an authentic and strategic way. And you’re in luck; we have three steps to do just that.

1. Identify your brand.

Hey, it’s Instagram—you’re creating visual content for a consumer. Give them something to consume, and keep it on brand. So, what is your brand? Are you easy on the eyes? What enthralls you? Makes you want to laugh, cry—from devastation or elation? What causes you to pause? What will cause others to pause when they engage with you? Find it, and own it. Stake a claim to your corner of Instagram by figuring out what you’re most passionate and knowledgeable about, whether that’s food, fashion, photography, or something else entirely.

2. Connect with powerful friends.

It’s okay to recognize that others have been at this longer than you. Use that to your advantage. Engage with other powerful brands and influencers on the platform who can help you increase your following. Be strategic about which accounts you choose. Brands that are similar to you will share the most like-minded followers, making it easier for you to create your own custom content that is in some way connected to their brand. If you’re a cinematographer, tag brands whose equipment you use. If you’re a model, tag designers who inspire you, making sure to give them praise—and being transparent that you aren’t claiming any ownership of their work.

Respect is key in creating these connections. You’re trying to make this brand like you and use you to promote their own brand. Social media is a conversation. And in conversation, people love to be imitated—it’s flattery, after all. So take notes from the best. Mimic those who you respect the most, and earn their respect in return. When they start tagging you, their followers will begin to recognize you as a brand on your own. Now watch your follower count start to rise.

3. Constantly evolve your content.

As your outreach spreads, give your audience what they want. And what they want is more—so keep it interesting. Keep your audience asking new questions. Surprise them, delight them, cause them to laugh or contemplate. Perhaps emphasize periods in your life through color or style. Tell stories and open up via your captions. Create a series of photos, always keeping in mind what your photos look like as an album in your profile. If the work starts to pay off, invest in yourself. Nicer equipment can yield better results, especially as you develop a unique aesthetic. Never forget that you are your brand, and who wants to stop growing into the person they are?

Want to learn more about how to grow your Instagram following? Get in touch.

Tags: Best Practices, Content Marketing, Creative, Influencer Marketing, Instagram, Strategy, Tools, Trends

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