Looking for a listicle to show you how to be famous on Instagram in 10 easy steps? You won’t find that here.
While you may feel it’s easy to be an Instagram influencer, there’s a lot more to it than latte art and filtered sunsets.
And if there’s one thing to learn from the burning trash fire that was Fyre Fest, Caroline Calloway’s ghostwriter takedown, or even Millie Bobby Brown’s skincare tutorial snafu, it’s that the social currency of faking-it-until-you-make-it is pretty much spent.
In other words, social scams, fake followers, Instagram pods, and other hacks aren’t going to fly—especially with recent changes to Instagram’s algorithm. Instead, think real talk, representation, relatability, transparency, and good old-fashioned dedication.
So what does this mean when it comes to attaining Instagram fame for you or your business? We analyzed strategies and rounded up advice from several top Instagram influencers to give you 17 expert tips.
How to become Instagram famous
No shortcuts here. Follow these tips from influencers to learn how to get Instagram famous the authentic way.
1. Use a personal photo to be your Instagram profile picture
Your profile photo is what Instagram members see before clicking on your story, interacting with your posts, or visiting your profile. With such high visibility, influencer LaShawn Wiltz recommends putting your best face forward.
“Instagram is a personal platform,” explains Wiltz on her blog. “People come on Instagram not to be sold to by a corporation, but to be entertained. They want to know the YOU behind your account. Give them a person, not a logo. Personalize your brand.”
Almost everyone famous on Instagram uses their face’s picture as their profile photo.
2. Remember who your followers want to see (hint: it’s you)
Carry that profile picture tip over to your grid as well.
People may follow influencers for their perspective, photography skills, parenting advice, travel hacks, and more. But ultimately, people want to see you.
Kutcher is not alone in that finding. A study by the Georgia Institute of Technology and Yahoo Labs finds that photos with faces in them are 38% more likely to get likes on Instagram.
3. Keep your bio fresh
It’s easy to forget about your profile bio after writing it, but that would be a mistake says, LaShawn Wiltz.
On her blog, Wiltz says: “Your bio is the first thing people see. Your bio should give [people] a clear concise idea of what your account is about.”
Tell new visitors who you are, what you do, and what you like to share. Add color and save space with evocative emoji. Wiltz suggests adding keywords, but to make sure to “weave these keywords naturally into your bio.”
Working on a new project? Drop the link in your bio.
If you’re a travel influencer, tell people what country you’re currently traveling in. Doing this tells prospective followers what kind of content they can expect from you, and keeps current followers informed on your latest updates.
Read more about how to write the perfect Instagram bio.
4. Find your niche
When it comes to the content you share on Instagram: Do you. Why? Nobody else can.
“Use your passion or what you’re gifted in and document it with photos and videos.”
Define and share what matters to you, whether it’s a penchant for potato chips, expert financial advice, or advocacy for topics like body positivity or climate change.
Being true to yourself isn’t just a matter of differentiation—it gives you stamina as well, @parisinfourmonth’s Carin Olsson says in an Instagram Story: “I think it’s really important to do something that you’re passionate about because I think it’ll always be hard to work and keep motivated if you’re not passionate about what you do.”
5. Define your ideal audience
Who are you hoping to connect with on Instagram?
Once you’ve found your niche, it’s important to reflect on who you think would be interested in it, says Jenna Kutcher on her blog.
Kutcher describes her ideal follower as likely a woman in her mid-20s or 30s with a big heart, big dreams, and willingness to bet on herself. Her followers are women who may relate to her experiences with infertility or body insecurity, or find motivation from her business expertise.
Like Kutcher, you don’t have to limit yourself to one attribute or schtick. Share as many experiences, hobbies, or topics as you like. But remember, some followers may connect with some aspects more than others, so aim to provide balance.
“Whatever facet [my followers are] therefore, I want to ensure that I’m reaching [them],” explains Kutcher. “To ensure that I’m doing this, I want to make sure that I’m hitting my big topics frequently.”