Social media has become an integral part of our lives these days. For many of you, it has also become the field for your career and your income source. But what is Instagram and what is it to become an Instagram influencer? Let’s find out through this read.
- What is Instagram?
- What sets it different from other social media platforms?
- Who is an influencer?
- Why should I try to be an influencer?
- How do I become an Influencer?
- Choose your niche
- Noteworthy bio
- Share your stories
- Make Instagram feed appealing
- Consistency on your post content
- Construct interesting reels, engaging lives, and IGTV’s
- Tag relevant brands and contact them
What is Instagram?
Instagram is one of the most famous and heavily used social media app, worldwide. It has 1 billion monthly active users and over 2 million businesses also use it. Instagram is mainly used because it gives more importance to visual sharing. You can’t use it for writing text. Any kind of text can only be written in captions below the picture or the video and in stories. Instagram has many interesting features like filters, its story feature, reels, live feature, IGTV (Instagram TV), tagging people, hashtags, and many more that engage the audience and keeps people connected through its direct message feature. The country with the highest number of monthly Instagram users is the United States at 130 million, followed by India (100 million) and Brazil (91 million). Instagram is available to download both on Android and iOS devices.
Who is an Influencer?
An Influencer is a person who has power over influencing your decisions, most of the time it is referred to as the decision to buy. Influencers built their reputation over months and years creating content about a certain niche or topic.
There are mega influencers like actors, models, sportspeople, established content creators who can reach a larger audience. Mostly, mega influencers gain their popularity by working outside Instagram. Some mega influencers have become huge by creating content on social networks too like Bhuvan Bham, Ashish Chanchalani, Gaurav Taneja, Komal Pandey, Awez Darbar, Riyaz Aly. With mega influencers, really big brands partner with them when they have to launch or create awareness about a new product.
Then, there are mid-sized or macro influencers. These are people who have gained popularity because of their expertise in a certain subject. Like career- advice, motivation, fashion hacks, jewelry, comedy. These are people who have less than 1 million followers. Some of them are Rachna Phadke, Saransh Golia, Juhi Godambe, Larissa D’souza, Shivya Nath, Savi and Vid(Bruised Passport), Avantika Mohan.
There are also influencers who have less than 100,000 followers who fall in the category of micro-influencers. Some micro-influencers are on Instagram just for fun and do not look at any brand promotions and deals. Others are waiting for their followers to grow to eventually become macro influencers.
How to become an Influencer?
Becoming an influencer is just like any other job, where you have to put your heart and sweat into your work to succeed. There are some very important steps to follow and some essential tips and tricks to keep in mind.
- Choose your niche
When trying to be an influencer you need to know what your niche is. Your niche is anything and everything that you are passionate about. It could be dance, singing, painting, traveling, yoga, or just anything that makes you passionate and pushes you to move out of your comfort zone. Think about it, what is it that makes you work harder and makes your soul feel alive.
While you are thinking about your passion, you also need to think about the skills that you need to make your passion your career. You need to have some sort of expertise in the interest of your niche. The more information and skills you have the better.
2. Instagram Bio
Instagram ‘Bio’ is an essential part of building your profile on IG. Your bio is the first thing that someone sees on your profile. Hence, you must build an attractive bio that instantly grabs people’s attention. An example of an attractive bio is James Charles, a famous makeup artist, and a vlogger. His bio stating “Blend, but don’t blend in” instantly tells you that he is a makeup artist. Additionally, he has also added his contact details and his YouTube Channel link, which depicts his reach to people.
Your content is the one that helps you connect to your audience. Content is everything that you put on your Instagram profile be it your posts, your reels, or anything created by you on your story. You can use your content to tell the audience your story, convey your passion and your message. Many influencers these days have similar content, so make sure you create something unique of your own. You have a variety of options to choose from on how you want to structure your content, the emojis you want to put or how short or lengthy you want to keep your captions. It is good to start by having short and catchy content and then post heavy and large content after you have gained some power as an influencer.
Being genuine with your content and creating authentic content will help you win hearts and build connections with your followers.
4. Your Feed
Instagram feed is your profile grid that shows your posts, reels, and IGTVs to your audience. Keeping your feed interesting and appealing can make people follow you instantly. Your photos and videos are the things that someone will notice first on your profile grid. Your photos and videos have to look appealing individually and collectively to make people follow you.
You can use apps such as VSCO, pics art, or Lightroom to make your photos and videos look alluring. Canva is a good tool to use for making engaging and captivating posters.
5. Choose Hashtags #
Hashtags (#) are the easiest way to search for anything that you want on Instagram. People use hashtags and follow hashtags to view content and profiles using the same hashtags. Using appropriate hashtags for your posts and videos can lead you to be discovered by a large audience as it helps others find your content.
What kind of hashtags should you use? Well, it really depends on the content and the caption that you put in for your post. However, using decent volume hashtags, which means that they have more than 10,000 queries, but have less than 1 million queries is a good choice. As your content will not be lost in those one million other content that has already been posted, however, it will still help you reach a good audience.
You can also create your own hashtags. You can use Hashtags for Likes as a tool to incorporate the best suitable hashtags for your Instagram posts.
Consistency is the key to success. Being consistent with your posts and posting frequently will help you gain higher engagement with your followers. You can plan a posting schedule. You can post daily or at least once every two days. However, do not leave too long a gap in between your Instagram posts. It can break your link and connection with your audience.
It is a good idea to set a realistic goal that you will be able to achieve rather than to set a goal that you won’t be able to reach. When you are posting your content, make sure that it is error-free, does not contain any grammatical mistakes, and is high quality.
7. Get a Business Account
As you are starting your Instagram account as an influencer, you need to get a business as it will unlock many interesting features that you can get access to. One of which is Instagram analytics. This helps you see what of your posts gain greater engagement, on which day, and what time. It will also help you understand your audience and learn what works best for them. An Instagram business account will also enable you to run ads on Instagram to promote one of your posts to gain better engagement.
8. Instagram Stories
Instagram stories are one of the biggest ways to gain followers and visibility. People who do not follow can also view your story and find you on Instagram. Instagram stories contain other great features, such as adding a location, adding songs, filters, emojis, and stickers that make your content more appealing. It also enables you to add hashtags to your stories.
After your account gains more than 10,000 followers, Instagram enables you to use the “swipe up” feature, where you can send an outbound link. You can also give shout-outs to people using the mention feature on Instagram. It helps you build relationships and also helps you grow your following. This allows others to post your story on their stories helping your content to reach a larger audience. Use polls to ask for your audience’s opinion on things you want their opinions on.
You need to be able to engage your audience with your content and everything you do on your business account as an influencer. Comment and like other’s comments on your posts to show better engagement and to better engage them. Follow similar accounts and engage with their content.
10. Tag Relevant Brands
When posting, make sure you tag relevant brands, this is one of the ways to make money as an Instagram influencer. This is after you have more than 1k followers and a good amount of engagement on your account. Tag these brands on your photo and video posts. This will put you on the radar of these brands. Thye might also share your photos further which will help you gain better engagement. You can send direct messages to relevant brands and collaborate with them. Pitch to them and put forward our offer to them.
Make sure you establish who you are and what is your purpose and role as an influencer. What is the one thing you want to establish or that sets you unique and different from other influencers on Instagram? When you talk about trending topics, what are you adding to the already existing information? A unique or different perspective.
Larissa D’Sa is a travel Influencer. She has over 602k followers on Instagram, and she has been awarded as the Cosmo Travel Influencer of the Year 2020-21. She is a travel presenter at travelxp. Her enthusiasm is one that will inspire you and help you think of ideas to edit and tweak your own page into a more productive one. https://www.instagram.com/larissa_wlc/?hl=en
With 1.4 million followers on IG, Komal Pandey is a fashion Influencer. She makes fashion videos and offers new fashion tips and tricks to her followers through her posts and reels. Her work also revolvers around Indo-Western fashion. Most of her videos also receive more than one million views, and you see original work on her profile. Do visit her page to gather some tips and tricks for your Influencer career.
Radhi Devlukia-Shetty is an Influencer with over 1.4 million followers on IG. Her content is far more diverse than others, which includes promoting plant-based recipes, Ayurveda, and natural skincare and beauty. One of the biggest take-aways from Radhi as an Influencer is her honesty and the cheerfulness that she shares with all of her followers and viewers on IG.
Becoming an influencer is a slow process. Don’t stop putting content regularly. Consistency is the key. You can visit the influencers’ pages (from your niche) to gather some more tips and tricks and some inspiration to become an Influencer. See when they are posting and what kind of engagement they get on each post. Keep in mind the above information when you are making an Instagram account. Give it your best shot!