A decade ago nobody would have thought that even a single post on the internet could pay you well over $300. The opinion of a normal person overweighted the opinions of big celebrities.
Then came the era of influencers. They helped bridge the gap between celebs and normal people.
Everyone started following influencers with loyalty. They took their opinions and acted upon them. If they recommended something, they would buy it for sure.
Brands and businesses recognized this as an opportunity to promote their products and services. And thus, the norm of shoutouts began.
How Much Do Influencers Earn?
Instagram values organic content and niching. You can become an expert within a niche and even narrow it more down the line.
Here is a list of the most profitable niches for Instagram bloggers:
- Making Money Online
Coming back to getting paid for doing posts on Instagram; it’s not a far fetched dream. Popular bloggers on Instagram like Rachel Brathen, Jacob True, and Samantha Kozuch get paid around $25,000 for a single post.
If you head over to their posts, you will see high valued content (pictures on skydiving, yoga on the beach).
But you cannot do that, right?
All you can do is post pictures of your homemade dinner or your dog.
How can you get sponsored then?
We will explore that down below.
The Magic of Micro-Influencers
Micro-influencers are Instagram influencers that have a low to mid-sized number of followers, but they are considered an expert within their niche. Their followers value their opinions and engage with them on a high level.
The two things that you have to know before you start an Instagram account:
- What you want to do?
- What you can do?
- How will it help your followers?
These three questions will help you determine your niche/industry.
Picking a topic for your account is not enough. Let’s say you want to become a beauty blogger. There are so many others doing the same thing that you will be lost among them.
But if you niche down and work as a beauty blogger, who is a specialist in nail care/nail art, then you have a better chance of reaching your target audience.
In the same way, if you are an animal blogger you can niche down to:
Dogs →Puppies→How to Train your Puppies.
You might think now that you won’t have enough ideas for this, but if you browse the internet and dig deeper, your content will never seem to end!
Here is an example of a writer who niched down to copywriting and helping startup womenpreneurs build their business.
Niching is one of the keys to success for getting sponsored on Instagram.
How Brands Determine Who to Sponsor
Brands are now getting to understand what benefits micro-influencers carry for them. First of all, the budget varies when working with a high-end influencer and a micro-influencer. The former has less engagement on their profiles as compared to the number of followers they have.
Engagement is not a standalone metric. It is measured by the number of total followers and how many of those followers engage in posts.
Secondly, the brand gets a ready-made audience that matches exactly with their persona of ideal buyers. A company making dog leashes will get more benefit by getting advertised by a micro-influencer who specializes in dog niche rather a high-end lifestyle brands whose audience has all sorts of people.
A Lesson on Branding
Branding on Instagram involves what people think when they see your brand. It covers everything from your core message, aesthetics of your profile, and your niche. You must remain consistent with your message and tone.
For a new influencer, it might take some time to figure out the personality of your brand. In this case, the brand can refer to you as a person and the kind of value that you deliver to your audience.
We suggest you keep things natural. If washed-out pastels are your thing, you can showcase that with the pictures in your Instagram feed.
If you are an extrovert who loves vibrant colors, then go for that. Your profile should look cohesive and aesthetically pleasing.
This is important because you will attract the kind of audience you build your brand around. Don’t try to target everyone. That doesn’t end well. Pick up one segment of the audience and deliver high-quality content for them on a regular basis.
Consistency is Essential
If you want to reach the influencer status fast, the way (the only way) to do that is to remain consistent with your posting schedule.
We cannot stress enough how important this is. Consistency is the key to building trust among your followers. It is also necessary according to the latest Instagram algorithm update. Just like Facebook, Instagram shows its audience what they like based on the number of likes and time they hover on a single post.
You have to post on Instagram at least once a day or several times with a few hours apart to let the engagement take place.
The easiest way to do this is to plan your content ahead of time. Once you have a content strategy in place, you can set up the posts in line for an entire week or several weeks for that matter. You can then use third-party apps like Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule them ahead. There is ONE catch to this, keep reading to check out what that is.
Grow Your Instagram Following
Once you have your content planned, there are a few more things that you must do in order to reach your target audience, get noticed by brands, and grow your Instagram followers.
- Use Hashtags to reach more audience. Hashtags help to categorize content on Instagram so that when people search for those keywords, they end up getting the related posts. It has been analyzed that posts with at least one hashtag get 12.6% more engagement.
You can use branded hashtags along with unbranded ones. But make sure you don’t use broad hashtags (e.g. #lifestyle, #tbt) because there are millions of posts connected to them and yours might get lost in the middle.
This goes without saying but, don’t create your own either
- You can tag the ideal brands that you would like to get sponsored by. For example, beauty bloggers tag @hudabeauty under their posts so they get noticed by Huda Beauty!
- Make sure that your newsfeed is aesthetically appealing and you’re sticking to a single tone or mood for your brand. Remember, your feed is your first impression, so make sure it’s great!
- Use can use Geotags to tag your location on Instagram and that will allow your posts to become more visible to the people of the tagged location.
Increase Engagement on Your Posts
Planning and scheduling content ahead of time is great. You don’t miss a single day where you don’t post and this saves your time while increasing your followers.
However, you will still need to set aside some time every day to engage with people on your posts. This means replying back to comments, answering DMs, and engaging with other influencers in your field.
This is as important as posting consistently because Instagram measures the success of your profile through your engagement rate. Who knows you might even end up on the Instagram explore page!
Let Brands Know Your Are Available
To encourage brands to reach out for you, you should tag them under your posts, engage under theirs and list out the information in your profile on how to get in touch with you. This includes giving out an email address or your phone number for the purpose of collaboration.
Pitch Paid Sponsorships
Sometimes you can do everything right but the brands you want to work with are not reaching out to you.
In that case, you can pitch paid sponsorships. Jumper Media explains the process to pitch paid sponsorships to brands.
A few things to keep in mind when you communicate your deliverables:
- Don’t promise huge results. You can never be sure if you will be able to pull them off.
- Be professional and keep your email personalized. Don’t just copy-paste the same generic letter to every brand.
- Don’t demand free stuff from the brand just because you’re an influencer. Trust us, it’s a huge turnoff. Consider providing value first.
Know Your Worth
Set your rates out from the start. Know that it involves a lot of time and efforts to create a post. You have to do the research and may need to create graphics as well. Do not undervalue your time.
Once get a few brands to collaborate with you, you start charging higher.
A rule of thumb is to charge $10 per 1,000 followers. But, we don’t recommend you do that if you (rightfully) believe you have more value to provide to the brand.
Set out a process from the start so that your collaboration takes place on the same page. Decide ahead of time if the brand is allowed to edit your post before you publish it.
One thing to keep in mind to use Instagram’s new branded content feature. it allows you to tag your post as sponsored so your audience knows that you are collaborating with this brand.
Becoming a micro-influencer takes patience like everything else.
If you are passionate about it, you are on the right track, because you now have all the information you need to become an expert influencer in your niche!