It’s 2018 and making money on instagram is no longer just for celebs or influencers with a massive following. This year especially we have seen the rise of the ‘micro-influencer’ (which is usually an instagram account with 5000+ followers) and for good reason. Micro-influencers are becoming rapidly more popular with brands as many have audiences that are more targeted to a specific demographic or interest. Therefore a larger portion of their audience is more likely to be engaged and a brand doesn’t need to pay for the additional followers who are not paying attention. For example if they are a ‘foodie’ based in Surry Hills posting mostly at locations in Surry Hills, odds are their followers will be foodies, based in the Sydney area too. Usually the larger the following the broader the audience. On the flip side, the more targeted the following, potentially the more value for money for brands. There is also the issue of transparency. A number of years ago some influencers were caught buying followers and charging brands for the higher following. While many of the sites that assisted them have been shut down, some have evolved onto ‘instagram pods’, where a bunch of like minded Instagrammers on a messenger thread, encourage each other to comment, share and like eachother’s posts; hence ‘fake engagement’. The revelation of pods have led more brands to seek influencers with smaller audiences in the hope that they reach a real audience. So what does that mean for you? More opportunity! Here are 5 tips to becoming a paid influencer today:
#1 Choose a niche your passionate about
Something that suits you, and your personality, so everything you are posting is genuine, making it more likely for people to engage in what you are posting about. The more broad the content you post (bikini shots, mirror selfies, etc) the less niche your audience will become. If you want to get paid by the foodie brands, make sure the majority of your content is about food. If you want to be paid by the fitness or fashion brands, make sure your content reflects that. You want to build an audience who is interested in the topics you are posting.
#2 Be active and on trend
To be a successful influencer, it is important for you to be active and up to date with the latest trends in your industry or industry of expertise. Post frequently, like the comments you receive and make sure you reply to people as brands do like to see how an influencer treats their audience/community.
Whether you like it or not, if you want people to engage in your posts, they need to look good. If you’re a food-based account, you need to post food that looks physically appealing and relevant to your audience. Use the editing apps, fix the lighting, make sure your post looks good. Also be mindful of what you are posting. If you’re a health-based influencer, posting a photo of McDonalds isn’t going to trend well in your feed and will probably leave to you losing followers.
#4 Hashtag with purpose
It’s true, posting the right hashtags is vital as they enable your content to be found by other instagram users. Think of them like a ‘folder’ if you hashtag #avocado, likelihood is other avocado shots will be in that same hashtag AKA ‘folder’. However it is also important to note that you can over use hashtags, as instagram only allows a maximum of 30 per post. You also don’t want your entire post to look hashtagged, so if the hashtag is not that important for the post, put them into a comment so it doesn’t ruin your caption
#5 Just like any job, have a portfolio handy
You wouldn’t apply for a job without a resume, and the same concept applies here! To help brands really get to know what you can offer, a third party platform can help. One such program is Q–83,which allows the brand to view an influencer’s reach including where their audience are based, age group, gender, media metrics, story metrics, recent mentions and a graph showcasing follower growth.