Everyone wants to be an Instagram Influencer, but do you have what it takes? Do you know the role you need to take with your audience as Instagram Influencer? I’m breaking down how to become an Instagram Influencer with actionable steps to take.
IE 85: How to Become an Instagram Influencer
I recently got back from speaking at a conference in Las Vegas and one of my sessions was about, you guessed it, working with brands. The funny thing is, sometimes a brand will actually have one of their people sit in on my session just to see what I’m telling the bloggers to do. My favorite part is after the session when they tell me that what I am teaching is exactly what they want all bloggers to know.
It’s just so fulfilling to know that I am on the right track with what the brands expect from bloggers and with what I am teaching you all. I’m gonna share with you some of what I learned from the brands about what they’re looking for as far as an Instagram Influencer, but first, I want to start by asking a question.
What is an Instagram influencer?
I hope you took a minute to brainstorm an answer. Here is my answer –
An Instagram influencer is an Instagram user who has an audience that is engaged with their content and their audience will make buying decisions based on the information that user shares, although the purchase may not be made directly from the platform. An influencer effects future buying decisions; they do not sell items.
As an Instagram influencer, you are more of a friend recommending products that you use and love. You know that your audience isn’t necessarily going to make purchases from your feed. Don’t confuse being an influencer with being an affiliate for a product.
Your job is to influence your audience to buy something down the road, not to sell them a product today.
Why Do Brands Want an Instagram Influencer?
If influencers aren’t selling products, why would brands even care about having them? It all depends on the niche as to how much the brand is interested in Instagram. Some brands care about your following and engagement, but some want sales more than they do influence. Niches like beauty and fashion are going to be more interested in having affiliate sales than they are in sponsoring posts through an Instagram influencer.
If you think about it, it is easier to sell something that you can wear, like clothing or makeup. You can show what it looks like and link directly to it. The difference comes in with things like food. Let’s say you are a food blogger and you’re sharing a recipe. Just because you use a certain brand of peanut butter in the recipe doesn’t mean that your audience is going to click through a link and buy that peanut butter. The brand understands that you are influencing your audience to buy that brand of peanut butter the next time they shop.
Let’s say I do a sponsored post for Rice Krispies and I put together a Halloween treat using the Rice Krispies. Think about it with me…people are not going to see that post or story and say to themselves, “Oh my goodness! I have to go buy those Rice Krispies right this minute!! Let me click through this link and get them sent to my house by tomorrow!”
What happens is, the next time they need to make a cute treat for their child’s class party, they will remember that recipe you posted using the Rice Krispies and they’ll grab the cereal and throw it in their cart. You need to be sure that the brand you want to work with understands how this works.
Rather than doing a story and telling people to swipe up to buy the Rice Krispies, the brand has to be clear on the fact that you are influencing future decisions, not selling products.
I want to pause for a minute and remind you that I am doing a brand new session of Pitch Perfect Live in just a few weeks. If you want to know how to use Instagram to get in touch with brands, how to work with them, and how to become an influencer, be sure to sign up for your seat today. It is completely free and I promise that even if you’ve been through it before, you will learn things that will help you take your business to the next level.
Action Steps to Becoming an Instagram Influencer
- Engage with your audience. Reply to any comments they leave you. Respond to direct messages. Have conversations with them. Go and comment on your followers’ content. Build authentic relationships with them.
- Create branded, aesthetically pleasing content. Your feed matters. Look at your own feed and make sure you are taking the time to use photos that represent you. And be consistent. Choose themes to help you know what types of pictures to share.
- Write engaging captions. Do not for one minute think that you can post a picture of a recipe and not say anything about it. You have to tell your audience a story. People want to know the story behind your photos and how it relates to your life. This is how you build a trust factor with your audience.
- Give a call to action. What is it that you’re asking your followers to do? Are you asking them to like the post? Do you want them to tell you something in the comments? You have to tell them exactly what you want them to do.
IG wants you on their platform and they want you to stay there. Use the platform and its many options to increase your audience engagement so that IG will show your posts to more of its users. Don’t just post to your feed; use stories, go live, figure out IGTV. And in everything you do, reach out to your audience and build those relationships.
Don’t forget to sign up for the next session of Pitch Perfect Live. This will be 5 days of teaching, homework, and live Q&A sessions that will help you take your business to the next level.
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