It is a dream for many, especially millennial and Gen Z, to become an Instagram Influencer: posting content for a living in exchange for a sponsored post here and there.
The Hard Way
As with anything, making money is not easy, especially in an overcrowded market such as Social Media. However, if you put in the time and dedication for a period of time, you will be surprised by the results.
How-To (For Highest Efficiency)
- Set on a very specific niche which follows one standard color scheme and has consistent and visually appealing content. You can achieve this by using a DSLR for your photos and similar filter/editing on all of the photos.
- Post Daily: ideally for most exposure, three posts a day reaches most of your followers.
- Post 15–30 Stories a day — this is the best way to gain organic exposure as the Instagram algorithm does not discriminate stories.
- Bi-daily Live Videos: these will drive your follower to engage with you more personally and can also reach 100% of your followers.
- Optimize and test Hash-Tags to your target audience, and tag relevant account in your posts.
- Follow/Unfollow 30 Instagram accounts an hour. Do this by following your competitors’ followers who are active (those that like their content). Click on a competitor’s photo and then on the “liked by.” Follow the first 30. Come back tomorrow and unfollow them.
- Follow celebrity accounts that are relevant to the content you post. You will notice that you suddenly get a small wave of followers and likes. Be aware! Most of those are bots, so don’t get carried away following and unfollowing Celebrities.
Perhaps after a few months, you can get up there into the 50k or even maybe the 100k club. Your life will be mostly focused on creating content and interacting with followers online. In return, your account will have a high engagement rate and your content will more likely appear on the discovery feed more often.
The Easy Way
While there is nothing easy in life, using the steps below will cause you to gain followers faster than using a traditional method. However, this comes at the cost of a lower engagement rate on your posts.
The Key is simple: Outsource, Outsource, Outsource.
For this method, you will likely need a little bit of money to start with, but that, in turn, will make your following grow significantly quicker.
- Just as before, decide on a niche that interests you. Generally, the best ones are Fitness, Entrepreneur, Style, Cars, and Technology etc.
- After deciding on a niche, create an Instagram account with a very generic name that explains your page. e.x. Best_Car2018, FitnessGuyStrong etc.
- The next step involves using a third-party service to schedule posts on Instagram. I suggest UNUM but most of the services out there work well enough.
- The hard part about getting big on Social Media is the dedication to post every single day. Instead, sit down in the morning during a weekend and find as much content from other accounts as you can. Schedule the posts for three a day with Hash-Tags and Captions that you stole from your competitors. By the end of the day, you should be set for the year in terms of content.
- To Finish your creation, Sign-up for a like-bot. This will allow you to steal competitors’ followers by setting the bot to like the photos of those following your them.
Using this method, you can gain a following very quickly with minimal work, but as bot attracts bot, a large chunk of your followers will be bots who do not interact with your content. This, however, can easily fool companies that are looking to market with you and your larger follower count can make your prices more competitive.
Last but not least, the fun part of the job!
Whether you used method one or method two, you need to drive sales, which in your case is in the form of shoutouts.
Sign up to Shoutcart, a platform where you can buy and sell shoutouts. These guys are by far the biggest marketplace for influencers.
To gain an advantage, scout how much similar accounts charge per post and put your page up for 10% less than that price (don’t forget to account for engagement rate and follower count).
Sit back and let the sponsored post flow in from advertisers that are looking to market their content with you.