When brands are in a big rush to get a large number of followers, it can help to enter into collaborations with Instagram influencers with large numbers of followers of the same profile that the brand desires. As you can well imagine, a commercial relationship with a top-grade influencer does not come cheap; at the top of the heap is Selena Gomez with 122 million followers who charges a mindboggling $550,000 per post! Considering Instagram has now more than a billion monthly active users, these steep fees have not been a deterrent for many brands vying for their share of eyeballs on social media. However, most of the influencer marketing spends do not involve stratospheric fees that celebs charge; it is quite common for brands to engage influencers for around $50 per post. According to https://www.statista.com, 39% of businesses say that they will increase influencer marketing in 2018. What it also means is that as unconventional as it sounds, it is quite possible to make a career as an Instagram influencer. Some practical tips of the uninitiated on building a career as an Instagram influencer:
Choose a Niche That You Are Really Interested In
It is not as if you can wake up one beautiful day and kick off a career as an Instagram influencer. To be successful, you need to be an authority in that subject, whatever it may be, so the first step is to know what you are really interested in and then become an expert in it. While you can be inspired by the success of some influencer or the other, you should not just copy him or her and try your hand at acquiring followers in the same niche. For example, Instagram is full of actors, chefs, fashion designers, fitness coaches, etc. who have acquired celebrity statuses and are regarded as successful influencers. This does not mean that you have to follow their example even if you have no interest or competence in these subjects. Pick something that you really care about and have authoritative knowledge about it. The quality of your posts will reveal the depth of your knowledge and expertise, and if you are faking it, you will be discovered.
Create a Compelling Bio
After you have decided what you are going to focus on, you have to lay the foundation of your Instagram account. The most fundamental step is creating a bio that is able to attract the interest of potential followers. The bio is a narration of who you are, what you do, and how followers will benefit by associating with you. Stories that are written compellingly are read significantly more and are able to convert more users to followers. Remember to include some of the more critical keywords as hashtags in the bio description so that searches by users will turn it up more. If possible, you can even name the account title in such a way that it is a popular search term while being descriptive of your profile.
Share Stories to Raise the Interest Quotient
Even though Instagram is famous as a photo-sharing app, Instagram influencers who are successful do not fail to add captions to narrate stories that help the user to connect on an emotional level. Using text to lend support to the visuals gives users more reasons to follow, trust, and engage with you. It is advisable to tell your stories on Instagram in an exciting way for a better lock-in; however, at no stage should you sacrifice authenticity as discerning users will always see through narratives that are concocted. Stories that resonate with your audience will invariably bring in user interaction regarding likes, comments, and shares, and it this proof of engagement that brands seek from their influencers. While brands do pay importance to the number of users that an influencer has, it places more stress on the level of engagement. If you find yourself short on the number of followers, you can use commercially available services like Gramblast to ramp it up quickly.
Create a Brand Out of Your Instagram Feed
Brands that seek out influencers rely on them to be famous in their own right on Instagram. Apart from ensuring that your photo posts are visually appealing, you should take care to ensure that thematically there is some uniformity that allows them to be distinctive among the millions of photos that a typical Instagram user encounters daily. Try to edit your pictures in such a way that the composition is not only visually appealing but also has a distinctive theme that will enable followers to distinguish your posts from the hundreds on their feed. All rules of professional photography apply, but you should pay a lot of attention to the lighting and ensure that the resolution of the photos is high because, otherwise, they will look terrible on the high-definition screens of modern smartphones.
You cannot become an Instagram influencer if you do not post content regularly. It is common to see most influencers posting daily, some even post multiple times during the day. There are no fixed rules on posting frequency and with a little experimentation; you should be able to get the frequency and volume right. You also need to find out the best time to post as it can have a severe impact on the sort of engagement you can achieve. You do not have to post manually; instead, you can make use of scheduling apps that can publish your pre-determined content as per the schedule you set.
Now that with a properly laid out content strategy, you have acquired a decent number of followers and ensured an excellent engagement level with them, you need to monetise your efforts. Start tagging brands that you think have the right fit with your followers and even take the initiative to contact the brands directly with an offer for collaboration. It can take a fair amount of time and effort, but if you stick to the job, you will slowly but surely be able to make your mark and with time, serious money too.