How to Become An Instagram Influencer in 5 Easy Steps

Beginning Your Influencer Journey

Becoming an Instagram Influencer has some serious perks.

Your workplace is flexible. You can be authentically you. You can explore fascinating brands and make real connections with your community.

And as a paid influencer it’s possible to make serious money. But where to start?

Five Simple Steps

1. Choose Your Niche Wisely

You’ll be sharing content on your chosen niche for years - so choose something you’re passionate about.

Are you amazing in the kitchen? A constant traveller? What can you bring to the influencer table that’s uniquely you? True connection comes with authenticity which brings the most important Instagram goal - engagement.

You need to hit the niche sweet spot between too broad and too narrow.
Too broad and you’ll lose a focused audience. Too narrow and you’re limiting brand collaborations - and will quickly run out of fascinating things to say.

For instance, a beauty influencer shouldn’t just focus just on lipstick, but have wider signature specialties.

2. Be Visible - Be Memorable

Visibility starts with carefully crafting your username, profile and bio.

Instagram is all about visuals. Check out the high visibility influencers and you’ll see they all share one thing - a clear, attractive headshot. If your brand is personal consider personalizing your profile with your own picture. Frame your head and shoulders and ensure it’s a clear shot, not a blurry dot.

Make Yourself Memorable

Your name must be on brand and relevant. If it’s a business brand, work around your business name. If struggling for inspiration, try a keyword search of products and brands you love.

Keep it simple and easy to spell and try to avoid messy, amateur-looking underscores, dashes, numbers and special characters.

You need people to remember you and find you easily.

Don’t neglect relevance. For example - @steaklover wouldn’t be appropriate for a vegan influencer.

Pack Some Punch

Make the most of your bio and the only link Instagram allows. That link must count - and you need to consider link in bio tools to ensure it does. Willow offers an all-in-one bio link tool to connect instantly with your online portfolio.

Freshen up your profile and bio regularly. Keep them dynamic.  

3. Know Your People - Grow Your Audience

Don’t forget the social in social media.

The world is tired of spam and bots. Who are you? Are you funny? Wise? Kind? Be uniquely human and uniquely you – everybody else is already taken.

Hashtag Your Way to Success

Specific - not generic – hashtags are key. Strategic hashtags in every post will link your brand to trends and help new followers find you. Research popular hashtags. Spend time exploring. Instagram offers suggested and related when using hashtags.

Comments Are Key

Your audience wants to know you, and you need to get to know them. Ask questions. Comments are a window to audience tastes, beliefs and behaviors. Knowing how your followers think and what they want is key to offering content they love.

Reciprocation Equals Engagement

Don’t be tempted to buy followers. They’re usually bots or inactive. They can mess up your metrics and generally won’t engage with your posts.

Engagement is crucial. Instagram cares about your activity and history of interacting. The all-important explore tab and that desired spot at the top of the feed is determined by the Instagram algorithm. The algorithm isn’t impressed by bought followers.

Find and follow accounts that relate to your niche. Engage and show reciprocal appreciation for accounts who do the same.

4. Consistent Quality Posting

Don’t make the rookie error of posting infrequently or inefficiently.

You must have quality content already organized for those days when you’re busy or under the weather.

Using social media scheduling tools is an efficient way to schedule the right content for the right time.

Some tools offer analytical reporting and provide information on hashtags and competitor behaviors. This is invaluable for an Instagram Influencer - allowing you to see what works, what doesn’t, and ways to improve.

So consistent scheduling matters. But so does consistently high calibre content.

Your content must be professional and on brand. There are some great tips and tricks available for going viral on Instagram.

5. Maintain, Entertain, Engage and Monetize
You’ve got a following, now you need to grow and keep them.

Engagement is Instagram currency. Don’t be afraid to put out calls to action, ask questions, ask them to click on your bio link and tell them why they should.

Sometimes that’s all it takes – just ask.

Your audience trusts your opinion and taste on certain subjects. That’s worth money in the bank.

Money in the bank

Once you’ve earned an engaged audience with reciprocation and focused, quality content, there are many ways to monetize:

  • Add tipping to your link in bio. Willow’s link in bio offers an optional tipping function.
  • Work with brands – research and find brands with budgets for influencer marketing, don’t be afraid to contact brands to discuss sponsorship. Check out other influencers in your niche with similar followings for good brand fits and search hashtags such as #ad or #sponsored for new leads.
  • Affiliate marketing. Instagram is launching a native affiliate tool, helping creators to earn commissions for purchases they drive.
  • Use badges in livestreams. Instagram tells you everything you need to know to go live and get paid.
  • Enable ads on reels. Instagram reels are videos up to 60 seconds long – and now you can monetize them.
  • Open an Instagram shop.
  • Earn bonuses. By regularly posting quality and engaging content, you make yourself eligible to earn milestone bonuses.

Dream Big

You know what you want – go and get it.

Take your passion, carve out your niche, follow these steps and find your place as a successful Instagram Influencer.