Instagram has given ordinary people a platform on which to showcase parts of their lives that the world wants to see.
Whether it is mundane everyday activities or exciting stories or events, Instagram audiences are dying to see what influencers are getting up to.
But the question everyone wants to know is, how do I achieve influencer status?
Well the answer is simple.
Plenty of patience, lots of hard work and of course a good understanding of how the platform works and knowledge of community behaviour.
Social Media Influence is a Billion Dollar Industry
There has been a lot of noise recently about the current state of the market and just how much exactly it is worth.
The exact market worth is notoriously difficult to pin down, since there are lots of occasions when Instagram users use #ad when the post is not actually sponsored.
Some of the wilder estimates put the market at a net worth of between $5 billion to $20 billion
However, the more accepted figure is estimated at $2.5 billion, as shown here in this Statista report.
This lucrative market looks set to grow, and people are attracted to idea of no work, all play, earning lots of money while doing relatively little work.
But the truth is it is a long and difficult road if you want to become an influencer, and it is not simply a case of posting a few pictures and watching the money roll in.
Secure Your Online Niche
Finding a niche is important if you want to secure a seat at the influencer table.
The trick is not to try and be a ‘jack of all trades,’ and find a focus that you can create consistent content around.
When people visit a profile, they like to see consistency and predictability, and this will affect their decision as to whether or not they will follow you.
People don’t want random content clogging up their news feeds, so if they see erratic content that they cannot pigeon hole into a specific niche, they will not be interested.
Once you have found your target area, make sure you give it some in-depth research and see what kind of content exists in this realm and how you can contribute towards it without just making noise.
Make a Blow Away Insta Bio
Instagram Bios have been called the elevator pitch of your Instagram profile.
It is your one shot to make an impact on visitors and grab their attention to hopefully secure their engagement and following.
People want to know who you are, what your content revolves around and why you are worth following, and you only have a few lines to cram all of this in.
It is important to remember that an Instagram Influencer needs two things to exist: a brand to stand behind them and followers to leverage influence on.
If you are aiming for partnership with another brand, you need to remember that these brands will be associating themselves with you, so your bio should be worthy of their branding.
Tell a Story With Your Instagram Account
One of the principal elements that attracts people to social media is the ability to share and receive stories from others.
Storytelling has been a fundamental trait in human behaviour since man first arrived on the planet, and human beings have been sharing stories since the stone age.
A few decades ago, mass consumable media was the main form of storytelling in the 21st century, which was controlled by the main media channels.
Now however, times are changing, and the power to tell interesting and immersive stories is in the hands of anyone and everyone, giving rise to thousands of stories of all manners being shared on a daily basis.
Genuine stories usually have the best resonance amongst social media users, so make sure you keep it real and heartfelt for the best reception.
Have an Instagram Aesthetic
This is an important step in your social media strategy, as it gives your audience an instant idea of what your content is all about.
People like consistency, and if they come onto an Instagram profile that has lots of different styles of content within it, they may be dissuaded to follow or engage.
When people follow an account, it is usually because the content appeals to them in some way, and the aesthetic of the content forms a big part of this appeal.
This concept is especially important for brands, who recognise the need to give consumers predictable content that they will come back for.
Have a look at some of the other accounts in your niche and gauge what kind of aesthetic they are going for and the results that they are getting.
Engage With the Community
People often forget this step, and the truth is that every established influencer will spend a great deal of time liking, commenting, messaging and engaging with the Instagram community.
In order to this effectively, you should aim to come across as relatable and genuine as possible.
Don’t spam people with generic pitches about you and how you want to work with anyone and everyone.
Some of the best Instagram Influencers will ask open questions to the community, as well as reply to comments and direct messages.
The more you engage with your audiences, the better you will be able to understand them, then you can start tailoring content so that you are delivering what people are asking for.
Reach Out to Brands And Creators
Once your account starts to pick up a bit of traction, you can start reaching out to brands and other influencers yourself.
Again, you want to do this in a way that does not come across as spammy or needy, and you should try to bring something of value to the brands or creators in question.
For example, you could offer some kind of cross-promotion with a bigger account, offering to share their tag in all of your post for the next month, while they might share your account once or twice.
Brands can also appreciate accounts reaching out to them that have a decent-sized following with a proven track record or putting out great content.
Here at IBF, we create cutting edge tools that help speed up this process and get your account in front of audiences in your chosen niche.
For smart engagement on a wider scale, try our latest HyperVote module, which gives you the best in class automation software to get you on your way to become an established Instagram Influencer.