The hottest thing in the social media world right now is influencer marketing, am I right?
Welcome to 2019… a day in age where you can make money (and a lot of it!) by simply documenting your day-to-day life and in turn connecting with your ideal audience. The influencer marketing spend budget is set to 2.38 BILLION dollars in 2019. Makes sense why so many people want to become an Instagram influencer!
When I first started my Instagram in early 2018, I had absolutely no idea that you could actually get paid to promote on Instagram. I just used it to post photos for my friends and family to see. That is until I discovered how to become a social media influencer. Now my favorite thing to do is pitch to brands before I travel to destinations like Bali and Mexico in exchange for free (or sometimes paid) products!
How To Become an Instagram Influencer in 2019
The thing is, you don’t need thousands of followers to be an influencer! Micro influencers are actually where it’s at in 2019. So what exactly is a micro-influencer?
A micro-influencer is an account with anywhere from 10-100K followers. Micro influencers are becoming more popular now as brands are starting to realize that the micro influencer has more reach and engagement. If you don’t have 10,000 followers yet, DON’T WORRY! Brands will work with you even if you only have 1,000 followers, as long as you have great engagement. REMEMBER! Profitable > popular!
If you stop looking at your follower number, and start to think about how you can influence others, this will help you realize some core strategies on how to become an influencer.
I’m going to dive into 7 strategies on how to become an Instagram influencer below!
Step 1: Define Your Brand
Branding is a long term strategy and your foundation. Everything flows from your brand and your why. Why are you growing your Instagram? What is your why statement? Mine is because I want to travel more and explore the world. I want to share my experiences with others who have the same passion. I want to inspire others to live a lifestyle they love.
All of your content, your captions, everything stems from that. Be authentic!! When brands are searching for people to use, they can tell right away if you are authentic or not. You need to have an authentic brand that aligns with your content and your captions! It is obvious if you aren’t being you.
Step 2: Stay REAL!
The more unique and authentic you are, the more success you will have in growing your tribe and securing brand collaborations! Think about what you and your brand represents… If you only choose to work with brands that align with your values, then your followers will trust you and you will have higher credibility.
Brands want to work with YOU, the micro-influencer, because your followers are genuinely interested in YOU and what you have to share. We need to start building up your tribe and build up your loyalty! Don’t focus on the number, because you want an engaged audience that trusts you.
Step 3. Be VULNERABLE
This is one of the best ways to become relatable to your audience. People want to see themselves through you! If you come off as perfect, people don’t see you as someone they can relate to. You need to BE REAL! I want you to be courageous. You need to ditch any insecurities you have and get ready to BARE IT ALL. The top social media influencers today are the ones that let their audience in. Share your ups, downs, goods, and bads! Be honest and open and truly yourself – this is how people will connect with you and in turn come to know, like, and trust you!
Ask yourself, what is something you would love to talk about, but you’re scared? Some of my most vulnerable posts about my breakup were my most engaging! Some of my favorite ways to get vulnerable on Instagram include:
- Sharing your goals
- Sharing your struggles
- Sharing your fears
- Sharing your frustrations
Step 4. Find The Right Contact
Once you have established your brand and built trust and loyalty, it’s time to find the companies that align with your values! My favorite way to do this is via the DM! I like to open with the words “quick question!” with all lower case letters because it sparks curiosity and gets the DM opened. Here is an example of a DM that I sent to Biolage Matrix:
I have been using Biolage products my whole life and swear by them. I love the new acidic milk rinse and would love to propose a collaboration! My followers send me DM’s regularly asking what products I use for my hair!
Could I please have the name and email for your head of PR?
Thanks so much!
BOOM! In this short and sweet DM, I mentioned the value of working with me – that my followers would be interested in the product, and I also mentioned that I personally love the brand as well. They responded promptly with an email for me to send my pitch to!
(I diver deeper into more hacks and strategies to landing the right PR email in my Influencer Lab course!)
Step 5. To Send A Media Kit Or No?
I personally would not send a media kit UNLESS they ask for one! I would only include *quantitative stats in a media kit, such as engagement rate, monthly views, and growth from month-month. The most important analytic brands go by is REACH, so definitely include this!
Reach is the amount of individual people who will get to see your post. Each time a REAL person engages on your post, that post could potentially turn up on their followers explore page, which gets you even more reach and their followers could engage on your post, then it could be shown to their followers explore feed, etc. The more reach you have, the more successful the post is and the more successful you are.
Step 6. What To Include In Your Email Pitch
- Catchy and short subject line (“Collaboration with Travel Blogger”) – I like to use the word collaboration because then both parties are mutually benefitting.
- Direct links to your Instagram/Blog/Social media channels
- Quantitative stats – engagement rate, monthly views, growth from month to month
- You want it to be short, sweet, to the point – 3 paragraphs max, 3 sentence paragraphs. I have made the mistake of writing too long of an email pitch. Ain’t nobody got time to read that!
- A genuine compliment about the brand is always a bonus! Most of the brand deals I have landed I have already purchased a product in the past and mentioned that. – This Instagram post led me scoring $400 in clothes from Fortunate One Store!
- Be genuine!! If it looks like you copy pasted a template from somewhere, they won’t even read it.
- Have a specific idea in mind! Brands don’t want to have to come up with the ideas. Use your creativity! For example, in my pitch to Ecuadane, a blanket company from Peru, I would say, “I am traveling to Bali next month and I am hiking to the top of Mount Batur. I would love to do a shot with the blanket as the sun is rising from the top of an active volcano!”
- If you are new, don’t focus on your numbers. You can say something like, “my Instagram account is new, and I haven’t partnered with any brands yet. This means my audience really values my opinion! my follower number is growing by __ %/month and my engagement rate is ___.”
Step 7. Skyrocket Your Engagement!
As I mentioned above, brands are more inclined to work with micro influencers because they have more reach and engagement! If your engagement needs a makeover, friend I’ve got you!! One of the best ways that we can increase our engagement is by focusing on our reach!
If you want to know the exact strategies I use to increase my reach, drop your email at the bottom of this post, and this guide will zoom to your inbox immediately! This is straight from my signature course, The Influencer Lab!
I hope this guide was helpful in teaching you the in’s and out’s of how to be an influencer on Instagram. For any questions, don’t hesitate to send me a DM @travel_tothebeat.
If you’re looking for a Facebook Community to join that is geared towards REAL connections, please hit up Instagram Q + A Community!