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How to Be an Instagram Influencer: The Ultimate Guide

Updated: Feb 25, 2018

It's no secret: Instagram is an amazing social media platform and presents one of the biggest opportunities for content creators in terms of self expression and making money. In this article, we outline everything you need to know in order start, grow and monetize an Instagram account and become an Instagram Influencer.



Table of Contents

1) Influencer Marketing 101

2) Influencer Tool Kit

3) How to Identify the Right Brands

4) How to Partner with Other Creators

5) Determining Your Cost

6) How to Grow Your Audience


1) Influencer Marketing 101

What Is Influencer Marketing?

A Social Media Influencer is someone who has authority and a large following in a certain niche with a unique voice and brand image. While Influencer marketing is not limited to Instagram, today this platform has made it easy for Influencers to post about Brands through curated photos.

How it Works

A Brand will find an Influencer who represents their Company’s style and mission to collaborate with. Since Influencers are in a unique position with their audience, it allows them to make a more impactful impression as opposed to traditional forms of advertisements.


2) Influencer Tool Kit

How to Optimize Your Instagram Profile (see graphic below)

Profile Picture: A picture is worth a thousand words! Make sure you have a high-quality profile that represents your best-self. Areas of Focus Highlight your niche or interests to help Brands and users quickly identify with what you do.

Call-To-Action This is a BIG one! Direct Brands to your link with a clear Call-To-Action. This can be as simple as “Check out my latest blog post,” or include your email address following “Contact me for collaborations.”

Headline: State your name and add a keyword that describes who you are! Social Proof: Magazine features, partnerships with Brands, or anything else that gives you some credibility.

URL: This is the only space Instagram has for users to include clickable links; take advantage of it. You can include a link to your personal website, your Youtube channel, or use it to connect with other social platforms. Developing a Signature Style:

Theme: Do you have a laid-back beach vibe? More of a city style? Boho-chic? Well, a quick and easy way to create a theme is by applying the same filter to all of your photos. While you may cover a wide variety of topics, sticking to one filter brings flow and cohesion to your page. Our favorites editing Apps? A Color Story and VSCO

Focus: First and foremost, as an Influencer, you must find a balance between your personality and the niche you want to promote. So, if you want to work with fashion brands, only post content relevant to that industry, while also complementing your own personal brand. Staying relevant is key!

Mastering Content Creation:

Quality: Posting high-quality photos is crucial since Instagram is THE visual Social Network. These photos will directly reflect how Brands view you as an Influencer. Keep in mind: no Brand will work with you unless you share high quality content that captivates your vibe.

Personality: Get creative, be unique, and show off products in action! Maybe a close-up detail shot, a creative flat-lay, or you rockin’ a cool item, whatever it may be, help your followers visualize themselves using a Brand’s product in real life.

Captions: Your tone of voice should always shine through here! Captions should enhance your post by pro- viding context, educating, or telling your story. Also, if a Brand pays you to post, be sure to tag and give them a shout out in your caption while also including #ad or #sponsored.



3) How to Identify the Right Brands

Define Your Niche: We recommend finding a Brand that closely matches your own audience and interests.

Values and Interests: Sponsored content should never stand out as an obvious advertisement, but rather products you’d normally try yourself.

Building Relationships: Influencer Marketing is all about building long-lasting relationships, so it should be mutually beneficial for both parties. It’s a win-win!

4) How to Find and Get Sponsored by the Right Brands

Influencer Collaboration Platforms: Tools like Famebit, Revfluence, and Tribe Group can help you discover and connect with Brands by industry or interest. Think of it like online dating for Influencers.

Building Your Community: Nothing like some good ole Instagram stalking! Search niche hashtags or Brands you’re interested in. Show them some love with a follow and a few comments to start building the relationship. Remember to be selective with the types of Brands you choose to collaborate with. It should feel authentic, so that when your followers see it in your feed it is believable that you would use this product.

How to Reach Out: When approaching a Brand, it’s important to keep it short, descriptive, and to the point. Here’s what to include:

  • Personal Introduction: Let the Brand know who you are, and give yourself a way to stand out from the crowd.

  • Why You Love the Brand/Product: Insert a specific reason why you are a fan of what they do.

  • Why You’d Be a Great Fit for a Collab: Highlight why working together would be mutually beneficial for both parties.

  • Call-to-Action: Include contact information, reference a portfolio of past work, or invite their feedback.


5) Determining Your Price

Compensation varies by individual creator, but here are some questions to ask yourself when deciding on your price:

  • What type of industry are you trying to get into?

  • How many followers do you have?

  • How strong is your engagement?

  • How many followers does the Brand have?

  • How strong is the Brand’s engagement?

  • Will you be receive free product or will this be a simple shoutout?


6) How to Grow Your Audience

I've spent a lot of time growing my own Instagram audience, as well as the accounts of others, and I've found Kickstagram to be an effective tool for growth.

Case Study: Meet Alex Klott

Alex is a California Native who enjoys Social Media, his Wife, Better Buzz Coffee, and is an avid goer to C3 Church. Results: Alex focuses on creating content that revolves around his journey through marriage, relationship with God, and living a positive life style. As a result, this led to various collaborations with Men’s fashion accessory brands that were interested in spreading awareness of their products through his view.


Thanks to my Account Manager at Kicksta, my Signature Style was created and implemented successfully. Through strategizing on how to express my ideas visually, I was able to concentrate on reaching the audience I wanted to inspire and engage with.