Are you interested in becoming an influencer on Instagram and getting paid to post photos?
Then you’ve come to the right place!
In this post, you’ll learn everything you ever wanted to know (and more) about becoming an influencer and making money on Instagram.
This is your ultimate guide to being an Instagram influencers.
We have a lot to go through. Grab a cup of coffee and let’s get started 🙂
What does it mean to be an Instagram influencer?
You want to be an Instagram influencer but do you know what that actually is?
What does being an “influencer” mean?
Well, if you don’t know, now you’ll learn!
An influencer is a person who, as you can guess from the name, has a certain influence on other people.
They inspire and guide other people.
Instagram influencers are Instagram users who use the platform to influence other people.
Whether it’s influencing people to visit a city by posting stunning photos that make you wish you were there too, or showing how they style mom jeans.
How many followers do you need to be an Instagram influencer?
Now that you know what being an influencer actually means, you are probably wondering…
how many followers do I need to become an influencer?
There is no “minimum” number of followers you need to have in order to be classified as an influencer.
If you are influencing somebody, you are an influencer.
It doesn’t matter if you have 10 followers or 10 million followers.
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This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see my full disclosure for further information.
Is being an influencer the right job for you?
Being an Instagram influencer seems like the perfect job, doesn’t it?
You do “nothing” and just take pictures of yourself and post them
And then get paid for that.
It’s not that simple.
There is actually A LOT more to being an Instagram influencer than that.
A lot of work and effort go into it.
And if you aren’t ready to do the work, then being an influencer isn’t for you!
Like with any other job (not just a job, everything in life) it’s not for everyone.
That’s why I want to help you figure out whether being an Instagram influencer is actually right for you.
Please note that these things are just my personal opinion and what I think matters for becoming an Instagram influencer and should be taken as advice, not “rules“!
You should be an Instagram influencer if
- you enjoy taking and editing pictures
- you like spending time on Instagram
- you like engaging with people on Instagram
- you love being creative and creating new things
- you are ready to put the work in and be consistent (because consistency is the key! )
Being an Instagram influencer is not for you if
- you think that being an influencer is “get rich fast” kinda thing
- you aren’t ready to work for it
- you won’t be consistent and commit to it…
- you don’t have the time to spend at least 30mins a day on Instagram (at the beginning even more)
How to become an Instagram influencer in 2021
Okay, now that we’ve gone through the who what where of Instagram influencers, it’s time to get to the good stuff.
And that’s, answering the burning question:
How do I become an Instagram influencer?
I put together this very detailed guide to help you become a successful Instagram influencer and get paid for it.
As this is going to be a long post, I divided it into 3 sections to make it easier to follow:
- Setting up your Instagram profile
- Growing your account
- Making money
Are you ready to become an Instagram influencer?
Let’s get to work then!
1. Set up your Instagram profile
First things first, you need to set up your Instagram profile.
Here is how to do it.
Pick a niche
The first step of becoming an Instagram influencer is finding your niche.
If you aren’t sure what “niche” is, it’s a marketing term used to describe a part of the market.
Every market can be split into smaller segments (aka niches) which are defined in more detail.
For instance, the fashion market.
You have fashion for men, for women, plus size, petite, luxury fashion, and so much more.
Sure, you could create an Instagram account that is about all of those things but that wouldn’t work.
You’d have a lot more success and opportunities if you picked a niche within that market.
You should narrow down your niche as much as you can as that will help you get noticed and lead to more opportunities.
How to find the right niche for you
First, put together a list of all your interests and all possible topics you could have an Instagram account about.
Then decide on a niche between those things.
To help you make the desition, ask yourself these questions:
- which of these things do I love the most?
- what is something I can talk about for hours without getting bored of it?
- what is something I know a lot about or have a lot to experience with?
Create your Instagram account
Now that you know what your Instagram will be about is time to create your account.
The first step is t download the app to your phone.
Then just follow the instructions in the app. And enter all the information it asks you to.
Once you created your account switch your personal account to a business or a creator one
Why you should switch to a business or a creator account
- you get access to Instagram insights (they are super important for you as they can help you grow your account, and for brands to see information about your followers and engagement)
- you can add your contact details in your bio so brands can contact you with one click
- you have access to more features
- and more
Some things to keep in mind when choosing your username:
- go with something that’s simple and easy to remember
- don’t make your username too long
- don’t use symbols as that will be harder to remember
- don’t use lots of numbers
For your profile picture use a photo that best describes your account and your niche.
If your Instagram is about travel, use a photo of you in a stunning location, or if it’s related to makeup use a photo where you can see your makeup well, etc.
Using a picture of yourself is a great way to create a more personal connection with other Instagram users.
Your Instagram bio is one of the most important things about your account.
It’s the first thing people see when they visit your profile.
With your bio, you want to make it clear who you are and what your account is about.
Some tips for writing the perfect Instagram bio:
- tell who you are and what you do
- show your personality
- include a call-to-action
Create your Instagram content strategy
Now that your profile is ready is time to start creating content to post on your Instagram.
What I find helpful is creating mood boards with different photo ideas, poses, color combinations, etc. to inspire me and to get an idea of what I want my feed to look like.
Once you have an idea of how you want your feed to look like and the vibe you’re going for you can start creating content.
How to create an Instagram theme
Some tips to make your photos go together and create a theme
- take your photos in similar lighting
- have your feed in mind when taking photos
- edit your photos the same way (using the same filter or preset is a great way to achieve that cohesive look)
Some tips for creating content for Instagram
- plan your feed in advance
- have set posting days (you can post daily or a few times a week-what matter is creating a posting schedule that works for you, something you can stick to)
- focus on quality, not quantity
- use other Instagram features like stories and IGTV
2. Grow your Instagram account
Now that your account is looking all shiny and new, it’s time to get people to see it!
How to grow your Instagram account
Here are some tips and ways to help you grow your account.
One thing I need to mention is to focus on ORGANIC growth, don’t try to cheat the system by buying followers or playing games.
That will only hurt you in the long run.
Instead, focus on creating quality content (as it all starts with great content) and growing your account (with the tips I’ll talk about in a second).
Use the right hashtags
Hashtags are a big part of Instagram and they help your posts be seen by lots of people.
That’s why it’s important to do hashtag research and use the right hashtags for your account.
Use smaller hashtags where your posts have the chance to be seen and noticed.
Be strategic with your hashtags and don’t use some random ones.
Instead, find hashtags that are related to your niche and only use those.
Because that’s where your target audience is.
Just take a look at the screenshot below.
I got over 14k impressions from hashtags on a single photo.
That just shows how powerful they are.
Follow people in your niche
Find people in your niche and follow them.
Follow bigger and smaller accounts whose content you like.
But don’t play the follow/unfollow game as that will NOT work.
Regularly engage with other Instagram users
Instagram is a SOCIAL media so you need to be social.
Regularly engage with people in your niche by liking and commenting on their photos.
Dedicate some time every day on engaging with other Instagram users.
You can find people to engage with under the hashtags you use or in the comments section of bigger accounts in your niche.
The key is to engage with people who are interested in similar things as you as they are more likely to like your account and follow you.
Visit their profiles and like/comment on their pictures.
Make sure to leave a genuine comment that has at least 3 words!
Please, don’t leave comments like “great”, “amazing” or just an emoji as that looks spammy and like you didn’t put any effort into it.
Instead, take the time to read the caption and look at the photo.
Then leave a meaningful comment.
Instagram is constantly changing and adding new things. The algorithm is changing.
It’s hard to keep up with the latest trends and strategies.
That’s why it’s important to continue learning and staying up to date with what’s happening.
A great way to do it is by taking classes on Skillshare.
Skillshare is an online learning community where you can take classes on almost anything. From photography to productivity to cooking, etc.
They have lots of great classes about Instagram. From classes on how to take good photos and videos for Instagram to how to grow your account to making money, and more.
3. Make money
Now let’s talk about the money.
There are many different ways to earn money with Instagram.
In this post, I’ll go over the most common ones.
Make money by working with brands
The first way you can make money as an Instagram influencer is by working with brands on sponsored content.
How to find brands to work with as an Instagram influencer
Now comes the part you’re probably most interested in.
How do I actually find brands to work with on Instagram?
There are 3 main ways to find brands to work with as an influencer:
- you reach out to brands
- influencer marketing platforms
- brands reach out to you for collaboration
Reach out to brands
One of the ways you can work with brands as an influencer is by reaching out to brands.
You find brands you like and want to work with, and then send them an email.
What to say in your email pitch
- introduce yourself and your account
- say what you love about the brand and why you want to work with them
- tell them why you are a good fit for the brand (mention information about your audience!) and how they will benefit by working with you
What NOT to say in your email pitch
- don’t send them your rates (when they respond and say they are interested in working with you, then tell your rates)
- don’t “beg” for free products
- be honest and don’t say something you don’t actually mean
- don’t just copy and paste the same email to every brand, make it personal and genuine
- don’t put yourself down (don’t say things like I don’t have a lot of followers, you probably won’t respond, I’m new, etc. Instead, highlight the positive. Don’t say I don’t have a lot of followers, instead say I have a very engaged community.
Join influencer marketing platforms
The easiest way to work with brands on Instagram is through influencer marketing platforms.
They are platforms that connect brands and influencers.
They are the middle man between you and a brand.
Some popular platforms are:
Brands reach out to you
And lastly, brands can reach out to you for collaborations.
It can be so exciting that a brand wants to work with you but don’t just accept every offer you get.
When a brand contacts you for collaboration ask yourself these questions:
- is this something my audience is interested in?
- is this something I would spend money on and use if I wasn’t paid for it?
- What’s in it for me? is the product or the money you’re getting worth the time and effort you put into it?
If the brand is a good fit for both you and your followers, then work with them.
If it’s not, say “no, thank you” and move on.
As there will be more opportunities.
You won’t “miss out” if you say no.
It’s okay to say no!
Some tips for getting brands to work with you
- make it easy for brands to contact you by having your contact details on your profile
- post consistently
- post good quality pictures
- offer something unique and different
- build an engaged community (because engagement is more important than the number of followers you have!)
- have a media kit
Another way you can make money on Instagram is through affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is a process where you share (affiliate) links to different products or services and earn a commission.
How does affiliate marketing work?
You signup for a company’s affiliate program (through their website or through an affiliate network). When they accept you, you get your own unique tracking link (affiliate link).
Companies use those links to track clicks and sales.
Whenever someone clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase you get a commission.
What do those cookies mean?
It means that you can get a commission even if the person doesn’t buy anything right away or if they decide to buy something else, not the thing you linked.
Cookie length can last anywhere from 24h to 365 days.
For example, someone clicks on your affiliate link but doesn’t buy anything. They come to that website in 5 days and buy something, you’ll still get a commission for their purchase. Because they clicked on your affiliate link and the tracking cookie was still valid.
And this brings us to the end of this post.
I really hope you found it helpful and learnt something new about being an Instagram influencer.
If you have any questions or if there’s something I forgot to mention, please leave me a comment below and I will answer ASAP!
Good luck with your influencer journey!
It won’t be easy and fast but it’s not impossible.
If you work for it and develop a good strategy you can do it.
You can do ANYTHING you put your mind to! Never forget that!
Some posts that can help you be a successful influencer
- How to get your first 1000 Instagram followers
- How to use hashtags on Instagram-5 tips to explode your engagement
- How to Beat the Instagram Algorithm