If you’ve ever been sitting at your desk – whether that be in an office or at home during this pandemic – and wondered if it’s possible to make a living as an Instagram influencer, you’re not alone. Studies suggest that plenty of young people would love to switch careers and become influencers, and it’s no surprise; influencers get to connect with lots of great brands, they get to do what they love as a living, and they get to spend most of their time creating content for social media.
The short answer to the question of whether it’s possible to make a living as an Instagram influencer is “yes”, but it’s a very heavily qualified yes. Not everyone has what it takes to become an influencer. Believe it or not, it’s incredibly difficult work, and it has the kind of irregular schedule and job uncertainty that may put many people off. If you’re still determined to become a social media influencer, here are some tips as to how you might achieve just that.
Build up a following
It should go without saying that it’s impossible to become a social media influencer unless you have a significant following. After all, who are you influencing if your account is unknown? There are plenty of ways to build a following on Instagram, and perhaps one of the most popular for those just starting out in the social media industry is to look into shoring up a follower base using a professional service. While it may not sound like the best option, it can be a fantastic way to get started and give yourself a leg up in a competitive industry, especially if you choose the right service. Interested? Click to find out more.
Create excellent content
If your content game isn’t completely on point, then you’re going to be left behind and outclassed by superior influencers. Content is king, after all – it’s an old adage that dates back to the mid-90s, yes, but it’s one that proved eerily prescient. Think of your Instagram content – your photos, your videos, your Stories, or whatever else you’re posting – as the foundation upon which everything else is built. If the foundation is shaky, then it doesn’t really matter if everything else is solid, because the social media empire you’re building will inevitably fall down.
Vet brands carefully
As a new influencer, it can be incredibly tempting to simply agree to any offer that’s sent your way because you feel like you shouldn’t say no. However, developing the ability to politely decline a brand’s advances is one of the most important skills you can learn as an influencer. Not every brand is going to gel with your particular aesthetic or audience demographic, and if you take offers from brands that aren’t relevant to you, you’re going to risk looking like a corporate patsy. Make sure that you carefully vet and research every brand that reaches out to you before agreeing to partner with them.
Don’t expect consistent work
Until you’ve built up a significant profile as an influencer, the work is probably going to feel spotty and inconsistent. That’s normal; you’re going to have periods where the work isn’t quite coming in as often as you would like. There are, of course, steps you can take to alleviate that problem somewhat; you can ramp up your content posting schedule, reach out to brands, or collaborate with other users, for example. However, sometimes, the posts just aren’t landing in the way that you’d like. If you want a reliable career, then becoming a social media influencer isn’t for you.
Figure out your specialty and stick to it
Everyone has something they’re good at in the world of social media. Perhaps you’re an image manipulation wizard who can create incredible Instagram posts. Maybe you’re better at TikTok’s short-form video style, or perhaps you’re a wordsmith whose pithy Twitter posts bring politicians to their knees. Whatever your particular strong suit may be, it’s important to focus on that. You could even be a jack-of-all-trades type who’s capable on all platforms but doesn’t excel in any one area. That’s fine too – mass audience appeal is still audience appeal, after all!
Build your community and engage with it
If your content is the foundation of your social media presence, then your community is the scaffolding. Your followers will hold you up and keep you up – they’re the ones who will engage with your content, provide feedback, and define who you are as an influencer. Engaging with them is critical, and that means seeking out comments and replying to them. Once your following is large enough, it’s obviously going to be impossible to respond to every single comment, but try to keep up as many replies as you possibly can. That’s how your community will continue to feel engaged with you.
Always be on the hunt for new platforms
Social media is a rapidly evolving industry. Just five years ago, TikTok was nothing but a gleam in the eye of ByteDance, but it’s since grown and evolved to become one of the most phenomenally popular social networks around. You never know what the next giant to take over the world of social media might be, so always keep your eye out for platforms that are generating buzz among your community. If your audience says it would be a good idea for you to establish a presence on a certain platform, then you should do it – what have you got to lose?
Remember how lucky you are
In the event you do become a successful influencer, it’s important to remember that only a select few individuals get to do your job on a professional basis. Many influencers’ dreams die before they can come to fruition, so if you do manage to make a stable income, always remain humble. Sometimes, of course, you’re not going to love every single aspect of your job, and nobody can expect that from you. However, when things threaten to overwhelm you, try to take a step back and remember how lucky you are to be in this position.