Before we start talking about the reality check that many of us need when it comes to being Instagram Influencers and page views (there’s a hint!), I want to be sure to let you know that I am going to be doing a new session of my FREE training, Pitch Perfect Live in September.
IE 84: Reality Check for Instagram Influencers and Bloggers
If you’ve never participated in PPL, it is a 5-day, live, online training. Here’s how it works: I send you an email with information and a video and the next day we meet live inside a special, closed Facebook group to go through Q&A on the previous day’s lesson.
If you’ve never taken the course, I strongly encourage you to sign up but even if you have gone through it before, do it again! You know that online business changes all the time. Algorithms change, platforms change, best practices change. So make sure you stay up-to-date with all the newest and best information out there by signing up today!
We’re Instagram Influencers with 10K Followers on Instagram, So Why Aren’t the Brands Knocking Down Our Door?
Many bloggers assume that once they reach a certain number of followers, the brands will be knocking on their door just dying to offer them sponsored work. I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t work that way.
The fact is, the brands don’t, and can’t possibly, know every blogger on Instagram. As of June 2018, there are over 1 billion monthly IG users. This is exactly why you have to reach out to the brands yourself; pitch your blog instead of waiting for them to come to you. (This is exactly what I cover in Pitch Perfect Live– how to contact the brands and get your initial pitch in to them.)
The way to stand out as Instagram Influencers is to let the brands know you are there.
Why Follower Numbers Don’t Matter as Instagram Influencers
The reason that follower numbers don’t matter on IG is that there are varying levels of influencers on the platform. If you have a lot of followers, along with high engagement, you can ask for more in any sponsored posts you do. The pay is based on the size of both your influence and your engagement.
But just because you are a newer Instagrammer doesn’t mean you can’t get sponsored campaigns. Think of other areas where you have influence, like your website, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and any other ways you are interacting with your audience. The more that you use a specific platform, the more influence you build on it. So be consistent in using not only the main feed on IG but also the stories feature and IGTV.
10K Followers Is NOT the Beginning for Instagram Influencers
I hear from bloggers all the time who tell me that since they don’t yet have 10K followers, they can’t possibly reach out to brands or tag brands in their stories and then reach out to them in a DM.
That is not true. Did you hear me? Not true.
Let’s break this down into simple math because that’s truly all it is. For every 10K followers you have, a brand will pay you $100 for a post in your IG feed. So, if you have 30K followers, you can ask for $300 for a regular post. They may be willing to also pay more for a story or something on IGTV.
So that’s the industry standard. But it’s not the final word. Just because you aren’t at 10K yet doesn’t mean you can’t do anything. You have to offer more to get campaigns, but when you do that, it benefits the brand and they will be more likely to work with you. You can’t just go in guns a blazing and demand a certain figure for a post but you can put together a full package and price the whole thing which can include an Instagram post or story.
If you aren’t at 10K yet, be absolutely sure you go back and listen to last week’s episode where I tell you exactly how to reach out to brands and use affiliate links even without the swipe-up feature.
Engagement Matters for Instagram Influencers
One thing to remember is that as your follower numbers go up, engagement will go down. It’s a simple matter of percentages. This happens no matter the platform, and even with email lists. The more people you have, the less of them will be interacting with you.
Your goal should be to increase engagement. You need to be asking questions that will help your audience to interact with you. That includes your posts and your stories. Use the “Ask Me A Question” feature in stories or just tell your audience to DM you and answer a question you ask them.
I love to use stories to get to know the people I follow better. A lot of times, I don’t even turn on the sound as I’m watching. Which means that the text on the stories and the DM’s matter. People feel like they connect with you when they see you in their stories. And connection creates engagement.
If you feel nervous about doing stories or you haven’t really started doing them, watch stories from some of your favorite Instagram Influencers and take notes. You don’t have to literally take notes but if you see some things you want to remember, jot it down. And then get started. Practice will help you to get better and better.
Using the Platform to the Fullest as Instagram Influencers
Instagram influencers who use the platform to its fullest, including posts in the feed, stories, IGTV, and IG live, have more opportunities to connect with their audience, build trust, sell products, or be successful with affiliate sales.
Using the platform to the fullest also gives you the opportunity to build your own brand. For example, one of my favorite people to follow on IG is Alix from A Hedgehog Travels. She recently did a series of IG stories on a weekend in Paris, which is where she lives.
Alix showed tons of out-of-the-way places that the average tourist might never see and basically just took us through a weekend exploring Paris. She is using that to build her brand by also offering tours for people who want to see some of the things she is sharing in her feed and stories.
It’s time for that reality check that I spoke of earlier. You have to figure out where your audience is and be there, consistently giving them great content. You can’t just ignore Instagram, even if you don’t quite get the value of it. If you want to work with brands, you better be on Instagram. They want you on there, largely because as Instagram influencers, you can use simple photos to promote brands.
I mentioned it last week, but if you haven’t listened to the Instagram training that Carla Biesinger on Instagram Secrets, you need to go do that now. Carla rocked my own world and helped me finally nail down how to reach my audience and help them understand exactly what they were getting when they come to me.
This is what being Instagram Influencers is all about. Use it to build up your following and your engagement. And reach out to the brands and tell them what you’re doing on IG.
And join us for Pitch Perfect Live on September 3rd as we dive into how to craft the perfect pitch!
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