How To Become An Instagram Influencer

Being an Instagram Influencer is an actual job now. It requires hard work, talent, dedication and of course, an Instagram account.

Not only can it be a super fun and rewarding job, but it also pays extremely well! In this post, we will discuss just how to become an Instagram influencer in a few simple steps.

What Is An Instagram Influencer?

First things first, what is an influencer?

An Instagram influencer is a person with expert knowledge in a certain field or niche who makes trustworthy recommendations of certain brands, products, or locations. They have authority with their followers. When they make a recommendation, their followers listen!

You don’t need to have millions of followers to become an Instagram influencer. You can have as little as 1,000 followers to get your first paid Instagram post. However, most brands are keen to look at accounts with 3,000 followers. Bonus points if you have over 10,000 though!

Step One: Focus On A Niche

To be an Instagram influencer, you need to focus on a particular niche or market. People won’t trust you if you are recommending everything from burgers, to shoes, to airplane companies, to plant pots, to pet supplies!

Even though you might know about all these things, it’s important to focus on one or two of those to target the best audience for you.

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Off on an adventure with the crew! We have been taking an annual camping trip on Fatherโ€™s Day since Andrew became a father. The first time Eloise was three months old.. now Iโ€™m 31 weeks preggo ๐Ÿ˜…. Tell me Iโ€™m not going to be kicking myself in about five minutes?! (Letโ€™s be real, kicking yourself at 31 weeks would be a feat in itself.) Any experience camping this late in pregnancy? What are your Fatherโ€™s Day plans?! #enchantingeloise . . . #memoirsofmotherhood #momentsinmotherhood #dailyparenting #messy_motherhood #magicofmotherhood #honestlymothering #beyond_motherhood #lifewithlittles #UMH_kids #hurrayforplay #mommyandme #pocket_sweetness #motherhoodintheraw #toddlersofig #notonlymama #momlifeisthebestlife #slowmotherhood #themotherhoodcorner #uniteinmotherhood #fullheartmamas #kindredmemories #our_everyday_moments #stopdropandmom #pixel_kids #seekinspirecreate #motherhoodmoments

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For example, @nazhelms is a motherhood blogger with a specialty in magical photography. She posts cute family photos with a magical twist. Those photoshop skills make her account stand out amongst other mommy bloggers!

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Whatโ€™s your life hack for avoiding and surviving flu season? (SWIPE to see a mini clip of this edit.) What has always been tried and true for myself, (not recommending this for children or preggos,) is echinacea as soon as I feel a tickle. I swear, every time I address it early enough I am able to fight off whatever I was on the brink of getting. We have been lucky enough to avoid getting more than a runny nose this flu season, except for poor Stawbeary here. Never fear, Eloise and Theo are on it and have adorable bedside manner. In partnership with, @nosiboo_usa, we have been able to eliminate all sore noses with their aspirator pro. My favorite part? You can use it until your child is six. ps let me know what you think of the clip! โžก๏ธ #enchantingeloise . . . #featuremama #beyond_motherhood #documentingmotherhood #motherhoodlens #toddlersofinstagram #stopdropandmom #aheadofthecurve #inspiremothers #justbaby #theaspiringmama #2yearsold #honestlyparents #motherhoodintheraw #celebratechildhood #momsoninstagram #hurrayforplay #mom_hub #childofig #runwildmychild #motherhoodsimplified #themotherhoodcorner #motherhoodunhinged #littleandbrave #scarymommy #pixel_kids #momlyfe

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Her brand deals on Instagram include things like nasal aspirators for children. Because the majority of her followers will be parents, they will turn to her for trustworthy recommendations for products to share with their children!

On the other hand, there are fashion Instagram influencers. They tend to be the most successful because of fast fashion. Since clothes are so easily mass produced these days, it’s simple for brands to reach out to fashion bloggers with new supplies of clothes every season!

@Misstiffanyma partners with lots of different fashion companies such as Swarovski and Pantene!

Once you’ve figured out your niche, it’s time to create your account!

Step Two: Share Your Passions

Within that niche, it’s time to talk about it! Create unique and original Instagram posts revolving around your niche.

Experiment with different photography styles and Instagram filters until you find the one that reflects you as a person and aspiring Instagram influencer.

@My_tiny_jungalow is a plant influencer (yes, that’s a thing). She has decorated her room to look like a mini urban jungle with hanging plants and unique DIY decor. This instantly makes her photos stand out! That’s why her account is fast growing with great engagement.

If you’re going to be a home decor blogger, for example, you need to do something different with your home to make it stand out amongst the 1 billion Instagram accounts.

Step Three: Be Your Vocal Self As Instagram Influencer

Everyone has opinions, and everyone has a voice.

If you want to be a successful Instagram influencer, you can’t just talk about basic things online. For example, if you’re a travel and book blogger, talking about only traveling and books is going to limit you!

However, if you want to grow your account and relate to your audience, you need to be vocal about your opinions.

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Happy Menstrual Hygiene Day folks! Letโ€™s all smash taboos today ๐Ÿ‘Š๐Ÿป . . Hereโ€™s some fab period books Iโ€™ve been reading recently: * Period Power by Nadya Okamoto . * Code Red by Lisa Lister . * Period by Natalie Byrne . * Itโ€™s Only Blood by Anna Dahlqvist . * Periods Gone Public by Jennifer Weiss-Wolf . . Also little reminder that menstrual cups are an absolute godsend (if you so choose to use them of course!) and are MUCH better for your bodies ๐Ÿ’…๐Ÿป for the month of May, @the_cup_effect are donating THREE menstrual cups for those who need them for every purchase – you can head to their shop via the link in my stories!! . . Iโ€™ve also put all of period related blog posts in my stories because weโ€™re all about smashing taboos here โค๏ธ phew, that was a lot of information! How are you all doing today?!

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Bronte also talks about important topics like feminism, sustainability and periods! She “smashes taboos” and opens up conversations even though the topic might seem difficult.

However, because of this refreshing approach, her followers turn to her for recommendations. She’s an ambassador for women and girls worldwide. This makes her stand out from the crowd, and ultimately, get more brand deals because she is gradually widening her niche!

Step Four: Engagement Is Key

You can follow steps one to three perfectly, but unless you’re engaging, you will not be a successful Instagram influencer.

First, engage with other Instagrammers. Perhaps follow other Instagram influencers within your niche and befriend them. Start by liking and commenting on their pictures. Next, reply to some of their Instagram stories and hopefully, you’ll build a friendship from there!

Secondly, it’s so important to engage with your audience. When you post on Instagram, reply to the comments as soon as possible. Especially in the beginning! People are engaging with you because they value what you post.

To show them the same respect, you need to respond back to them.

When you get DMs, kindly respond to all of them. If your account grows to be very big, you’ll not be able to respond to every DM but in the beginning, it’s important to make this effort.

Lastly, engage with brands. Follow a few small brands within your niche and make them aware. You want to be known within your niche and have a good relationship with brands!

Step Five: Brand Deals

The definition of an Instagram influencer is that you get paid, so let’s discuss that!

You will probably start influencing on Instagram on a gifted basis when your account is still small. This means that a brand will send you a free product in exchange for a few photos!

Of course, you don’t have to agree to gifted deals if you’d rather hold out for a paid deal, but it’s good practice to start when the stakes aren’t so high.

Usually, brands will reach out to you, especially if you’re networking well. Using a variety of hashtags will help brands find you, too.

However, reaching out to brands is also a great idea, especially if you’re just looking to start on a gifted basis!

Simply message a brand you love, introduce yourself, tell them why you love them and then propose your offer.

Tip:ย Start with one product in exchange for 2 or 3 photos. As you get more confident and influential, you can work this down to one photo until you are ready to propose a paid sponsorship!

Every brand has different rules for completing the brand deal so we’ll let you work out those details when you get there, but it’s important to remain firm when negotiating. You need to be fair, but so does the brand! Don’t let people take advantage of you as an Instagram influencer.

Step Six: Get Paid As An Instagram Influencer

Once you start to get paid for ads, you can officially say that you are an Instagram influencer! It’s all up from here!

Each brand will come with its own set of rules so you can deal with that when you get there but here are some tips:

  1. Charge roughly 1% of your following or 10% of your engagement. (For example, if you have 4,000 followers but 900 likes per photo, charge somewhere between $40 and $90.)
  2. Read your contacts thoroughly! You want to make sure there’s nothing dangerous in there that might strip you of your rights if you don’t follow the rules 100% exactly.
  3. Having said that, follow the rules. If there’s something you’re not comfortable with, negotiate it before signing your contract.
  4. Actually, sign your contract! You’d be surprised by how many people actually forget to do this. The brand can use this against you and refuse to pay you if you don’t do this.
  5. Ask for a deadline and opportunity to send them proofs before the photo goes live.
  6. Make sure the brand covers any PayPal or payment fees so that you don’t lose out on money.

Your Instagram influencer journey will have highs and lows, but if you follow these steps it will be full of fun, fair brand deals, and experiences! To make it even easier, be sure to check out Upleap. With Upleap, you’ll be paired with a dedicated account manager. Together, you’ll work to secure your online brand, grow your following and be the best Instagram influencer that you can be. Click here to start a free trial today!

By Beth McCallum

I'm Beth, a Scottish writer and bookworm. I'm currently agent hunting for my debut novel while running a candle business from my home. I obsess over dogs, Hamilton, chai lattes and recently, Harry Potter. I know, I'm decades late.

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