How To Become An Influencer On Instagram In 8 Steps

If you’re into taking cool pics with your phone and engaging with people online, then becoming an influencer on Instagram might be perfect for you. According Business Insider, Nate White did exactly this and built up 340,000 followers on Instagram. Sponsors now chase HIM and he’s able to charge a base rate of $3,000 per sponsored post*.

Keep in mind you probably won’t hit those kinds of numbers right away, but eve micro-influencers (1,000 – 100,000 followers) report brands paying $100 or more for every 10,000 followers.  And that’s if your goal is to charge for posting. You can earn A LOT more by creating content for these same brands.

In this article we’ve laid out the primary steps to help you succeed. Follow these and it’s possible to create engaging content, grow your following, build relationships with brands, and get paid to do what you love.

1. Build Your Brand

Building a successful brand can seem like an overwhelming task, but with the right knowledge and strategy it is possible to create an impactful presence.

Start by identifying your niche. Ask yourself the questions “what am I passionate about?” and “what can I talk about for hours without getting bored?”

Next, ask yourself what makes you stand out in your field. Is there a specific area or interest within your field that you want to focus on – or a problem you want to help solve?

Once you have identified what sets you apart, you need to think about how best to communicate this message. Instagram is a very visual-based platform that favors high quality photo and video content, so you’ll need to figure out how to best communicate your story in a highly visual way. More on that in a bit…

For help with branding, check out How To Become An Influencer In 6 Simple Steps.

A strong visual identity and brand voice are essential elements that will help customers recognize who you are and make them feel connected. Be sure to consistently deliver on the promises of your brand. Whether its through high-quality products or great customer care experiences, always make sure customers have positive interactions with you each time they engage.

2. Optimize Your Instagram Profile

How To Become An Influencer On Instagram

Your Instagram profile is your spot to shine! But you only have a small amount of space to do it in, so it’s vital to use every line to your full advantage.

Your Profile Pic

Whether you decide to use a photo of yourself or a logo, it’s vital that you put some time and thought into this. Make sure your unique story, brand, and personality shine through. Use a high-quality camera and good lighting for photographs, or a high dpi for logos.

Search Optimize Your Name!

Believe it or not, your name is one of the few things that is searchable on Instagram. It’s fine to use your real name, brand name, or business name, but it is highly recommended that you use a SEO keyword after it, such as “influencer” or “content creator”. Such terms are often used by brands to search for potential influencers to work with.

Your Bio

You’re only allowed 150 characters in your bio (roughly the size of a tweet!) so it’s super important to take your time crafting the best possible way to communicate who you are, what you do, AND pique people’s interests so that they follow you. Influencer expert Austen Tosone recommends using the line “I do…” or “I make…”**.

PRO TIP:  Type out your email address in the body of your bio IN ADDITION to adding an email button. Many businesses still use the desktop version of Instagram to search for influencers. However, the desktop version of Instagram does not include an email button. Adding your email to your bio circumvents this issue.

3. Switch To A Creator Account

Instagram offers it’s users three different types of accounts: Personal, Creator, and Business. Personal is the default type everyone gets when they sign up for Instagram. You have to manually switch to a Creator or Business account if you want to use Instagram as a content creator or professional business owner. Why does it matter? Well, while all three types look very similar, Content and Business accounts come with extra perks that make it possible to earn money (either as an influencer or as a business selling a product).

Switching to a Creator account is free and grants you access to popular music you can use with your Reels and Stories, the ability to monetize your account, access to Meta’s Creator Marketplace (connecting brands to influencers), the ability to earn a payout bonus through Meta’s $1 billion Creator Investment and more.

Here’s how to switch to a Creator account.

4. Post Quality Content

We know that Instagram favors high-quality photo and video content over low quality. What does this mean for you? It means no low resolution cameras. No fuzzy or pixelated images, etc. Don’t have any high-tech gear? No problem! Most smart phone cameras today are pretty high tech and you can buy a good quality ring light like this one from Amazon. Once you have the right gear, you’re ready to create!

We also know that Instagram’s algorithms favor content that is highly engaging! This means you’ll need to spend some time figuring out the best way to VISUALLY communicate your message in a photo, graphic, or short video that also HOOKS viewers immediately. It may help to ask yourself questions like:

  • What’s the purpose of this content?
  • What story am I telling?
  • What emotion do I want the viewer to feel?
  • What action do I want my followers to take?
  • What information does the viewer need in order to take that action?

Don’t want to be a camera man? Stock photos/videos and editing software is another great option. Don’t forget – having fun while experimenting will always lead to something great!

The are three different types of content you can create on Instagram: Photos, Stories, and Reels. As an influencer, you’ll want to utilize all three each and every day and in conjunction with each other in order to grow the best following possible and establish yourself on Instagram. Let’s take a closer look at each type:


Instagram originally started as a photo-only platform. It has since grown to include video, but the iconic 1:1 square-ratio “grid” photograph still makes up the majority of people’s Instagram feeds. Again, high quality is king! And we’re not just talking about resolution. Instagram content creators are known for their magazine-worthy photography skills. IG followers expect to be wowed by works of art, whether you’re photographing yourself, a landscape, or a product – you’ll want to think about placement, background, negative space, and so on.


Stories are short, engaging clips that appear over the top of the feed and disappear after 24 hours. You can use stories to showcase a single photo or image, or use several photos/images to create a 15 second slideshow. You also have the option of using up to 15 seconds of video or live stream.

With stories, you can show your followers what’s going on in your life right now, behind the scenes, without clogging up their feeds with a barrage of posts. Think of Stories as little snippets of joy your followers can peek into without having to commit to reading an entire post.

Stories can be uplifting, funny, creative, even educational. Whether it’s sharing a few pictures from last night’s party or posting a video tutorial about how to make a perfect omelet, there is no wrong way to use stories on Instagram. It’s all about using the platform creatively and making sure you’re putting out content that keeps your followers engaged and entertained.

PRO TIP: Unlike photos, you can create clickable links in Stories – so take advantage of any calls-to-action here!


Video content has taken over Instagram and it’s no wonder why. People love watching videos rather than scrolling by photo-only posts. Videos allow people to connect with your brand in an emotional way that photos simply can’t provide. This emotional connection builds credibility and trust with potential followers and has a much higher engagement rate than most photo content.

Reels are a fun and creative way for users to create 90 second videos with audio, special effects, and other creative elements. Instagram Reels are the perfect tool for telling an emotionally gripping story, showcasing your skills or products, doing tutorials, or jumping on a TikTok trend. Get creative and have fun sharing your unique content with the world.

PRO TIP: If you use a third party app to make your videos, always remove any watermarks before uploading them to Reels. IG’s algorithms favor original content and can go so far as to suppress content if it thinks it was made by their competitors.

5. Craft The Perfect Captions

Both photos and Reels allow you to add a written description to your content. While it is important to let your photo or video do all the heavy lifting, the description is a great place to add additional details such as a call to action, a url or other vital information, SEO keywords, and hashtags.

Always Use Hashtags

Hashtags are a powerful way to get your posts noticed. Hashtags are essentially keywords that followers use to find images and videos related to their interests. To use hashtags, simply type the hashtag symbol (#) followed by a keyword or phrase relevant to your post. For example, if you post about yoga, you may want to include hashtags such as #yogaeveryday or #namaste. But there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to mastering the art of hashtags! It’s important that you choose tags that accurately reflect what your post is about so that people who actually care about it can discover it.

Using A Call To Action

A call to action is simply an actionable request you ask your followers to do. Whether it’s asking followers to shop a product, follow your account, or share a post, using a call to action is an essential way to get your followers to do more than just liking your post. Keep your CTAs short and sweet so people don’t get overwhelmed – something like “click the link in our bio” or “comment below if you agree!” will do just fine.

6. Monitor Your Analytics

Instagram’s analytics page can show you all sorts of useful information about how many people have seen, liked, shared, or commented on a post. Knowing this data can help you refine and focus your content in order to boost engagement and attract more followers. Create more content similar to the posts your followers love to engage with the most. Discover the best time of day to post based on what time the majority of your followers are active on Instagram, and so on.

How To Become An Influencer On Instagram

To access your analytics on Instagram, first navigate to your profile screen. Next, click on the the dop-down menu located in the top right corner of your screen. The icon will look like three short lines. Then, click on the option that says Get Insights.

Take some time familiarizing yourself with all the tools and insights available to you. Learning how to keep track of your metrics gives you greater control over managing your online presence and reaching wider audiences.

7. Engage and Connect

Interacting with your followers is essential, but it’s only half of the job. If you really want to break out as an influencer, you need to network with other influencers!

Take the time to explore other Instagram accounts and connect with other content creators in your niche. These connections are the lifeblood of every Influencer’s career. You can network with other influencers on Instagram two ways: by Commenting and Tagging.

Commenting is the easiest method and should be used as often as possible. When commenting on other posts, be genuine and offer words of encouragement that will spur further conversation.

Tagging requires going the extra mile. You’ll have to create some content (i.e. a photo or Story) that you can tag the content creator in. Tagging is a great way to give credit where credit is due (very useful for thanking artists, venues, etc.) show that you are using a brand’s product (thus putting yourself on their radar for a sponsorship) or just show that you are thinking of them.

When you tag a content creator, they get a notification that you mentioned them in your post and can then share your post with their followers too. These relationships can lead to collaborations and brand deals in the future, so always nurture them!

8. Leverage Paid Sponsorships

Every Influencer wants to get paid, right? Good news! It’s now easier than ever to get sponsored on Instagram as an influencer. The key is understanding how brands use this powerful platform to promote their products and services—and how you can help them do it.

First, take the time to research potential partners. Think about which brands match your interests, lifestyle and aesthetic, then find out if they’re active on social media. Make sure your followers align with theirs. This will give brands confidence in working with you long-term.

Once you have a list of potential partners, it’s time to reach out. Direct messaging can be intimidating but don’t let fear stop you from asking questions or making conversation. Take some time crafting a professional message that is clear and concise. Remember that you’re representing not only yourself but also the brand in your posts, so make them count!

Need help? Our article How To Become An Influencer And Make Money: 16 Simple Strategies walks you through everything you need to know, including how to craft the perfect pitch.

Conclusion: Unlock Your Potential On Instagram!

No matter how large your following is, becoming an Instagram influencer and content creator can be a really solid way to generate income. You can do this while having fun and expressing yourself, while making extra income on the side. By understanding what it takes to become established in the industry, you can set yourself up for success. It all starts with creating content that resonates with your followers and exploring different ways to engage them. So go ahead, be creative, have fun, and get started on your path to become an influencer on Instagram!

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