Influencer marketing has become a must-have in the world of marketing. It can do wonders for building brand awareness, reaching new audience segments, and humanizing your brand. Numerous studies have found that people trust recommendations from people they know—and many consumers consider relatable influencers to be in their inner circle of trust.
Because of this, it’s now easier than ever for anyone to make money as an Instagram influencer. You don’t need to have tens of thousands of followers to make money; even with just a few hundred or thousands, you can work with brands who seek influencers with local influence or with high engagement rates. While getting started is easy, becoming a lucrative Instagram influencer takes time and hard work (some Instagrammers are even getting paid with cryptocurrency!). Here’s what you need to know to get started making money as an Instagram influencer:
Pick an Industry & Niche
One of the first things you should do is pick an industry and niche. Many major industries are crowded, and finding a lucrative place can be challenging. But with the right niche, you can get it done. For example, instead of focusing on interior design, why not specialize in interior design for small spaces or interior design on a budget? Take a look at the influencers and brands leading the influence in your industry of choice and pay attention to how they present their content and the different niches they use.
Start Planning & Posting Content
With a niche in tow, it’s time to start planning and posting content. Brands will always check out your profile to get an idea of your creative capabilities and brand image. They aren’t just paying attention to individual photos, but how your photos come together to create a particular aesthetic and how you engage with your followers on your photos. Consistency is key.
To help you stay consistent, use an instagram planning tool like Planoly or Later. These platforms allow you to plan out your content and get a visual look at what that content will look like when it comes together. Visual editorial planning can also prevent you from coming up short with ideas. Think of it as a map for all your Instagram efforts, and a hub for managing your visual assets.
Join an Influencer Marketing Platform
After you’ve picked a niche and started posting consistent content, it’s time to join an influencer marketing platform. Influencer marketing platforms connect you with potential brands and agencies looking for relevant influencers like you. Although there are many different platforms to choose from, they generally work the same way; sign up for a program, create a profile, connect your social account, and wait for organizations to discover you.
You should check out different programs and/or sign up for several to increase your chances. Platforms like Scalefluence.com make it easy to work with brands by listing your price upfront and managing payments through an escrow service, which eliminates relationship-detracting negotiation. Be sure to create a through profile that demonstrates the powerful potential you have and your creative ability.
Measure Your Growth
It’s important for you to measure your growth. Understanding how your channel is growing offers great insight into your performance and can help you put together your media kit and any pitches you want to send to brands. Your social media growth demonstrates the value of your work as a social media professional.
Audience growth rate, post rate, and engagement are important metrics to track over time. Fortunately, there are several tools that make this easy, so you don’t have to worry about manually tracking a handle of complex metrics. For example, SproutSocial allows you to track everything from Facebook page impressions to Instagram follower growth.
These metrics can be vital for communicating with brands. For instance, let’s say you’ve only got 2,500 followers as a micro influencer. The amount of followers you have isn’t as important as your growth trajectory; by analyzing your metrics, you might find that your follower account is increasing by 20% month over month. These are the type of metrics that impress brands and agencies and illustrate your potential.
Create an Influencer Marketing Kit
Your influencer marketing kit will act as a portfolio and business card for your social media presence, and it can help you secure lucrative sponsorships. Ideally, you’ll find great agencies and brands to work with through your influencer marketing platform of choice. However, chances are there will be instances where you want to reach out to brands directly—especially if you have a particular product or service you favor and are confident you can help a specific company.
Your influencer media kit should reflect your brand image and illustrate your social growth. You can download influencer media templates from sites like Etsy or Envato. Some platforms, such as Canva, even offer sample media kits for free. Take a look at different media kit examples to give you insight into how you should be presenting your own kit. No matter how you design it, your media kit should include a bio, social stats, demographic details, previous partnerships (if applicable) and contact details.