Keep reading to explore more tips from real influencers to get famous on Instagram.
6. Be open and transparent
If you want to make real connections on Instagram, you can’t be fake. “The most important thing is vulnerability and honesty,” says Laura Izumikawa. “People are on social media to connect—or at the very least—relate to others.” Being open and transparent will allow you to connect with your audience for a long time.
One meaningful connection is worth a lot more than 100 fake followers—literally. Devoted followers will stick with you over time, trust your brand partnerships, and are more likely to regularly engage with you.
7. Invite engagement with calls to action
While follower counts matter, engagement rates are the real currency of the influencer community. And if you’re looking to boost engagement, sometimes all you have to do is ask.
“A lot of the time we’re not even inviting engagement,” says Jenna Kutcher on her podcast Goal Digger, “and if you look at your own user habits, you’re likely just scrolling.”
Kutcher recommends that before posting, reflect on the action you’d like someone to take when they see your post.
Want more likes? Ask followers to double-tap if they share a certain conviction. Looking for comments? Try asking a question. Want followers to click the link in your profile? Tell them why they should.
8. Return the engagement
Whether or not you’re willing to ask for engagement, be prepared to return it. After sharing a post, stick around to respond to comments.
“When people see that I am online and commenting back on comments, they are far more likely to engage with my post,” says Kutcher.
No good relationship is strictly one-sided. Like and comment on your friends’ and followers’ posts, too. The more you connect with people on Instagram, the more reciprocity you can expect. Plus, the more authentic the relationship, the more likely it is to be favoured by the Instagram algorithm.
9. Find good sources of inspiration
The hardest part of being Instagram famous? Creating enough content to meet the demands of a 24/7 audience.
To keep the creative juices flowing, influencers like Montreal-based graphic designer Audrey Rivet turn to several sources of inspiration.
“I try to find an influence on Instagram, fashion/lifestyle blogs, Pinterest, Behance, and magazines,” says Rivet on her blog.
Menswear influencer Diego Gonzalez-Zuniga, aka @diegodowntown, also cites Pinterest as a source of inspiration.
Rivet doesn’t shy away from sharing the love either. If there are influencers who inspire her on Instagram, she’ll often share their posts in her stories. Equal parts savvy and sincere, when reciprocated, the gesture has the potential to increase her exposure with a similar audience.
10. Plan ahead
Staying organized and planning content in advance can make being Instagram famous significantly more manageable.
“Planning my future posts and subjects is also a good way to put things in order and see more clearly when crisis strikes,” says Rivet on her blog. “It’s all about organization!”
Start with a calendar. Knowing what’s coming up allows you to be prepared to make the most out of moments and events. It also helps you spot any gaps that may need filling and ensures that you’ll have enough content to post consistently (at the right time).
With posts prepared, you can take advantage of time-saving tools like Hootsuite’s Instagram scheduling feature and spend more time offline.
To maintain a certain feed rhythm and aesthetic, Rivet uses UNUM, a tool that allows her to visualize posts on her profile before publishing them.
“When I have empty spots, I usually test with a few inspirations I’ve saved on Pinterest to see if a certain composition would fit great,” she explains.
11. Choose brand partnerships that fit
Brand partnerships are a significant source of income for Instagram influencers. And for those aspiring to be Instagram famous, they can be a source of exposure, too.
As both an influencer and a businesswoman who’s worked with influencers, @ohjoy’s Joy Cho offers sharp insight into partnerships. For businesses, she says: “Make sure you can really imagine that person using what it is you’re going to send them.”
If an influencer passes, don’t take it personally.
The same advice holds for influencers deciding which brands to partner with. “When considering brand partnerships, you must consider your audience and how the partnership will add or take away from your brand,” says Laura Izumikawa.
Don’t be afraid to say no if it’s not a good fit. As Izumikawa, she says “I often turn down brand partnerships because I do not like the product, or it doesn’t fit with my brand.”
Also, don’t always wait for the right brand to come to you. If you see a brand that you love and you think your audience would love too, reach out to them with a professional brand pitch.
And make sure to read our guide to Instagram influencer pricing before striking a deal.