Meghan Young loves to climb beautiful mountains and she spends most of her time exploring nature. But what makes her different is the fact that she makes a good deal of money out of her passion. She is a celebrity in her own right and has a fan base that even many mainstream celebrities would envy.

Becoming an Instagram influencer is a lesser-known career that is increasingly growing in popularity. It may involve serious money, but some still consider it to be just a gimmick.

Brands spent $5.67 billion on Instagram influencer marketing last year alone. A quick look at Google Trends shows how the term “influencer” has gained momentum over the last 4 years.

Image via Google Trends

Rachel Brathen, an Instagram influencer, charges up to $25,000 for a single sponsored post on Instagram. And these two ladies are not alone. There is a whole tribe of young and talented individuals like them.

Unlike 9-to-5 working professionals, they have cracked the code to make their living doing what they love.

Instagram has turned into a full-time career for scores of people, called influencers, who consistently create authentic content for their followers.

Their content often performs better than traditional paid advertising. Big brands are spending a lot of money on influencer marketing because it’s working for them. There are over two million monthly active advertisers on Instagram.

If all of this sounds interesting and you want to take a shot at becoming an influencer on Instagram, here are some pro tips to help you:

  1. Follow your heart to pick a niche.
  2. Create a bio that grabs attention.
  3. Share your journey.
  4. Be consistent.
  5. Get started.

1. Follow Your Heart to Find a Niche

The first step to becoming an influencer is to pick a niche you are passionate about. Highly successful influencers stand out from the rest by focusing on a particular niche within an industry.

To get started off on the right foot, you will need to figure out where you interest lies in and then identify your target audience. You should develop a unique persona that aligns with your target audience.

If building a user persona seems daunting, you can use a nifty tool from HubSpot, called the Make My Persona tool. It can help you create a buyer persona based on your audience’s demographics, interests, needs, and the challenges they face.

2. Create a Bio That Grabs Attention

Once you have identified your niche and buyer persona, you should optimize your Instagram account. A buyer persona will help you create a bio that can immediately grab the attention of your target audience.

Your bio is the first thing potential followers and brands will notice about you. If you want to break into the league of Instagram influencers, you ought to make your bio noteworthy.

Your bio should tell the world about your passion for the niche you’ve chosen. You should share your story in a way that it helps you engage people and build authentic connections.

Instagram influencer, Helene Sula, used the “name” field to incorporate “travel blogger.” This one small change made her profile show up in most search results for “travel blogging.” That’s a clever move!

Image via Instagram

She also used her Instagram bio to creatively convey her love for travel. It says, “Left it all behind to travel, except 2 pups & 1 husband.”

3. Share Your Journey

Instagram is a platform that is mostly used for sharing photographs. If you think you can just share some photographs and call it a day, you have got it all wrong.

After all, everyone out there is doing just the same. Influencers do a bucket load of work before their photos make it to their Instagram profiles.

Each of their photos is posted with a strong, compelling caption that tells a story. Nothing connects better with your followers than a story. Stories can help engage them on an emotional level.

In a bid to engage your followers, don’t forget to be genuine. Your followers can easily see-through fakeness. Instead, share personal stories that are both interesting and authentic.

For example, filmmaker and photographer, Jesse Driftwood, often writes longer captions to share his behind-the-scenes experiences.

Image via Instagram

Moreover, being an influencer is a profession like any other and so the photographs you post should be professional and visually-appealing. They should also align with the overall theme of your Instagram profile. And, all of your images should look good when stacked together in your feed.

4. Be Consistent

Your existing followers will stick around and new people will start following you as long as you are active. Most successful influencers post daily. Many of them even post a few times a day. But you should decide on your posting frequency based on your niche and realistic goals.

Many people find it difficult to stick to a schedule. If you are one of them, you can schedule your Instagram posts in advance using tools like Buffer and Preview.

5. Get Started

Making money as an influencer is as important as organically growing your follower base and engaging with them. Once you have amassed a fan base of over 10K, you are good to go. You can make a few thousand dollars through brand collaborations with an engaged fan base. The income potential may vary depending upon your niche.

Getting noticed by big brands can be difficult when you are just starting out. You can reach out to brands through email but chances are slim that you’ll get a lot of collaborations that way as many brands get hundreds of such emails every day.

It’s overwhelming to go through a giant heap of emails from influencers. Instead, brands and agencies prefer platforms that make it easier for them to find influencers in one place.

Influence.co is one such platform that brands use to quickly navigate through the crowd of influencers to find those who best align with their brand’s values.

As an influencer, you can use this influencer community to monetize the audience you worked so hard to build. You can create an Influencer Page that will showcase your social profiles, content, brand collaborations, and the engagement you generate all in one place.

For example, this is how travel influencer, Luke Pearsall’s profile looks:

Image via Influence.co

Takeaway

Learning the nuts and bolts of becoming an influencer on Instagram is not tough.

Perhaps the real challenge is to stick to it and create great content, day in and day out. However, if you get this right, you will soon be able attract and engage thousands of people with consistent, real-time stories.

Want to grow and monetize your following? I’m sure these tips will help. Let us know if you have any questions or any insights about becoming an influencer to share.