What is a Social Media Influencer?
Social media influencers are creators, who share content on social media, building communities around certain interests. Influencers have established credibility among their audiences by sharing their experiences and giving out tips to their followers.
That’s why most trustworthy and credible influencers have the power to persuade others. And this power opens doors for brands to collaborate with them to get their name in front of people who might be interested in their products or services.
One of the most popular platforms social media influencers use to connect with their audiences is Instagram. Accordingly, this article will focus on how you can become an Instagram influencer and make money out of it.
How Do Instagram Influencers Make Money?
Once you’re a trustworthy influencer, you have a range of opportunities to collaborate with brands. Some of the most common ways to make money as an Instagram influencer are:
- Publishing sponsored posts and stories – a brand pays you for posting content showcasing their product and mentioning them in your Instagram caption or stories.
- Being a brand ambassador – as a brand ambassador, your job is to participate in activities held by brands, advocating them.
- Adding affiliate links to your Instagram stories – you can find many affiliate programs on platforms like ClickBank and CJ.com. You can even participate in an Amazon Affiliate Program and promote items that you find interesting to your audience using affiliate links. Whenever someone purchases through your affiliate link, you’ll get a commission out of that sale.
How Many Followers Do You Need to be an Instagram Influencer?
One of the most common questions many up and coming influencers ask is how many followers you need to become an Instagram influencer. While it’s a good idea to have a goal metric and strive towards it. Typically, brands look for influencers who have at least 10,000 followers.
However, the number of followers alone isn’t the only metric that matters. One thing that’s more important than a follower’s count is engagement. Most brands prefer to collaborate with influencers who have an engagement rate of at least 2%.
Engagement rate formula: total number of interactions your content receives divided by your total number of followers, multiplied by 100%.
How Much Can You Earn as an Instagram Influencer?
The amount you can earn as an Instagram influencer depends on both your follower count and engagement rate.
Here’s how much you can expect to earn per sponsored Instagram post:
- Up to 10,000 followers – $88 /post
- 10,000 to 100,000 followers- $200 /post
- 100,000 to 1,000,000 followers – $670 /post
- 1,000,000+ followers – $3,000+ /post
A Step-by-step Guide to Become an Instagram Influencer
Step 1 – Pick a Niche
The very first step to becoming an instagram influencer is choosing a niche. You can’t be popular for everything, and you don’t really need to either. Just pick one thing that you’re good at and knowledgeable in.
Simply take a moment to understand what type of content you want to share with your audience. Are you a fitness enthusiast? A skincare guru? Maybe you’re a good cook? Remember, that you can choose whatever is it that you feel passionate about sharing.
Once you pick a niche, you’ll have to stick to it, so make sure you pick something that really interests you and not the one you know nothing about.
Step 2 – Get an Instagram Business Account
After you have an idea what niche your content will be around, it’s time to move to the next step and switch to an Instagram business account.
An Instagram business account has a lot of useful tools, such as Instagram insights and analytics. These tools let you know the demographic data of your followers, understand where they come from and even know at what times your audience is most active.
You can also view insights data for your overall account, as well as for specific posts and see which content your audience loves the most.
All of these metrics and data help you craft your content that’s better suited to your audience and share it when most of your followers are active.
How to switch from a regular Instagram account to a business account?
- Navigate to your Instagram profile
- Click the hamburger menu on top of your screen and tap on ‘Settings’
- Scroll down to the bottom of the page and tap the blue ‘Switch to Professional Account’ text
- Select what your business is
Step 3 – Create an Effective Instagram Bio & Optimize it for SEO
Bio is a valuable piece of your Instagram that you shouldn’t ignore or take lightly. Your bio should represent your personal brand and give people an idea what to expect from your account. It also needs to include relevant keywords or hashtags to your niche so that your account comes up in the Instagram search results.
While this may seem an easy step, many people still make a common mistake – they only talk about themselves in their Instagram bio.
But isn’t a bio meant to be about me? The answer is – YES and NO.
Instead of just saying who you are, your bio should be more about what your audience will get from you rather than your autobiography.
As you need brands to contact you, your profile should also include your contact information such as your email. Instagram generates your contact info into ‘Email’ and ‘Phone’ buttons so that people interested in contacting you can email or call you in one click.
However, this feature is only available on mobile and most marketers will seek influencers from their desktop devices. That’s why it’s a good idea to type in your email in your bio as well.
Step 4 – Focus on Your Instagram Aesthetic
Instagram feed that looks and feels aesthetic makes people want to follow you. So brainstorm the type and style of your images so they look aesthetically pleasing together.
Preview app lets plan your content on a virtual feed to check how different images would look like on the real Instagram feed
Step 5 – Write Captions that Reflect Your Personal Brand’s Voice & Personality and Engage Your Audience
Instagram is no longer a place to just showcase your cool images. You need to create captions that engage your audience.
And to seem interesting and engage your audience, you should add a personality to your personal brand.
Some of the interesting caption ideas:
- Share your opinion
- Share tips & tricks
- Ask your audience to share their opinion, recommendations, tips or tricks
Step 6 – Choose the Right Hashtags
Using relevant hashtags to your niche is a crucial part to increasing your instagram following. In fact, posts with hashtags gain 12.6% more engagement. It’s because hashtags make your posts searchable for the term, introducing your content to more than just your followers.
Step 7 – Post New Content Consistently
Posting new content consistently is a crucial part of your Instagram journey. Even if you don’t get the engagement you hoped for, you need to stay consistent with your strategy and post according to your schedule.
The optimal posting frequency is 2 times per day. However, there are no rules here and you might find that posting more/less works better for you.
Also make sure you’re sharing stories consistently – the optimal sharing frequency for stories is 5+ per day.
Step 8 – Interact with Your Followers
Since Instagram is a social platform, Instagram algorithm values social interactions. Plus, when you interact with your followers or people with common interests, you’re creating a connection. Accordingly, people who feel connected to you will stay as your loyal and engaged followers.
Step 9 – Get in Touch with Brands
Finally, once you’ve grown the audience of engaged people, you can start contacting brands.
Pro tip: Start by contacting smaller brands and accept offers where you shoutout brands in exchange for their products.
Is Becoming an Instagram Influencer Worth it?
While being an Instagram influencer is a dream job for many people, you should look at it realistically. Becoming an influencer is definitely not as easy as it looks like. It requires quite a lot of work to create content and truly engage an audience of like minded people.
But once you figure out what works for you and understand your audience’s interests, being an Instagram influencer may be highly rewarding.
Pro tip: once you’ve set up yourself to commit to Instagram full-time, I would also recommend you set up your blog as well. The blog gives you an opportunity to further engage with your audience and build a stronger brand. Converting Instagram followers to website visitors and subscribers, you’ll be able to easily direct them to any URL you want to and sell them not only affiliate but your own products as well.