I have a good friend who is an Instagram influencer, and I have recently been helping her with a few things over the last year. In that time, I’ve gained a unique insight into what the lifestyle is really like and what it takes to actually do it yourself.
My friend has 645,000 followers and gains about 1,000 to 1,200 new followers a day. What she taught me is that you have to learn what your stats are because if you want to be an Instagram influencer, you’ll live and die by these numbers.
Besides how many new followers a day she gets, she has an average engagement rate of about 5%. Engagement is when someone likes or comments on your post. She gets about 320 comments and bout 32,000 likes with each post she makes.
Another friend of mine has nearly 11 million followers on Instagram, and she has an engagement of nearly 12%. When she makes a post she gets about 1.3 million likes and almost 7,000 comments.
That engagement of 12% is very impressive – in fact, I would say even abnormally high. In comparison, Kim Kardashian has an engagement of just 1.63%, while her sister Kylie Jenner does better — she has an engagement of 3.46%.
The key to being a successful Instagram influencer isn’t the number of followers you have, but the engagement you get with those followers. The higher the engagement, the more money you’ll make with brand deals.
You could have a million followers, but if your followers aren’t engaging with your posts, then those followers to advertisers are worthless.
So while you need to work on getting new followers, you are going to have to also maintain a high level of engagement. This is why buying fake followers won’t work. Fake followers are, as the name implies, “fake”, so they won’t be there to engage with your posts by liking or commenting. This will actually hurt your chances of getting to be an influencer because your engagement will be so low. So by all means, avoid buying fake followers.
What you want to do instead is follow a simple pattern of activity.
#1 Make one post a day every single day. Post but don’t over post. One post per day shows your account is active and that’s all you really need. If you post more than once a day that could hurt your engagement. Instagram isn’t like Facebook or Twitter. One post a day really is more than enough.
#2 Follow other people and then like and comment on their posts. People may see your comment, click your name, and then follow you. By all means, this doesn’t mean comment spam others. I mean actually take the time to engage with those people you follow. If you comment spam you might get blocked by that person, or even worse, lose your entire account.
#3 Make friends with other Instagramers like yourself and get them to do a shout out and then you do one for them. Long story short, you say hello follow my friend @whoever, and then that friend does the same for you on your Instagram stories.
#4 While you should only post one timeline post a day, don’t be afraid to do several Instagram stories. Instagram stories are a great way to get your current follower’s attention.
#5 Be sure and use relevant hashtags on every post. While you can use up to 30 don’t go crazy. But always use at least 5 or 6 per post. Hashtags are an important way to expand your Instagram audience — in other words, get you new followers. When you use a hashtag, your post will appear on the page for that hashtag. If you use a hashtag on your story, it could be included in the relevant hashtag story, which also appears on the hashtag page. People can also choose to follow hashtags, which means they could see your hashtagged post in their feed even if they don’t follow you.
If you want to be a success on Instagram, it is going to take time. You have to put in the work and post not only great content but also put in the time to gain new followers by using the above methods.
When you start to build up your following, you can join a site like Izea, where companies will offer you ad deals. In other words, they’ll pay you to post about their company – to use your “influence” to promote their company’s product or service.
For example, my friend was paid $1,500 to take a picture of herself eating a slice of pizza with the company’s box with their logo clearly shown. She did this as an Instagram story. They liked the results and came back a month later and offered her $2,500 to do a 10-second video doing basically the same thing.
How much companies will offer to pay you will depend not only on how many followers you have but how high your engagement is. The money you earn will also go up as you get more followers. Yes, you can also work with companies like Fashion Nova to make money, but there are so many other ways of making money as an Instagram influencer than just that.
In the meantime, focus on getting new followers, posting quality photos, using the right hashtags, and keeping your engagement high. If someone comments on your post, reply to their comment. If they reply to your reply, that helps your engagement, too.
You need to consider two main things when growing your following – not only how many followers you have but how great your engagement is. You can have 10 million followers, but if those people aren’t “engaging” with your content, then they are worthless to you. Yes, I know we already talked about this, but it’s worth repeating.
How to grow your Instagram followers:
- The first is to post every single day.
- Reply to comments others have made on your post. This also boosts your engagement.
- Always use relevant hashtags. Use anywhere from 5 to 15 #hasthags per post!
- Search for people who are like you but with more followers and like and comment on their posts. Don’t spam, but make relevant comments. For example, if a person you are following posts a picture of themselves in a green top, say, “I love it (with the green heart emoji). You look great in that color!” — The more you comment on other posts, the more your followers will grow.
The type of content you post on Instagram is important. If you want to be a food blogger, then post about food. If you want to be a fashion influencer, then post about fashion. Not only do you need to post every day, but you need to post RELEVANT posts to the audience you want to attract.
To become an Instagram influencer, you are going to have to really work for it. You have to consider it a full-time job and put as much effort into it as you would a traditional job. Put in the hours. Do the work.