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How to Become an Instagram Influencer in 2022 (12 Step Guide)

Jun 30, 2022

Your Influencer Coach & Fellow Content Creator

I'm an Instagram influencer coach and lifestyle content creator based in Arizona. I help others live out extraordinary lives through my influencer career advice, travel guides, and life hacks.

I'm Dani!

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Ever find yourself wondering how to make your influencer dreams happen? No? Well, if you said “no,” I KNOW that’s not true because you’re literally reading this blog right now, lmao. 

Anyhow, I don’t blame you for wanting to know! While becoming an Instagram influencer in 2022 isn’t easy by any means, there are SO many opportunities available to content creators.

So if you’ve wondered, “Where do I even start?” you came to the right place.

And when you do it right, you might find yourself with a job that offers more freedom than the typical 9 to 5. 

Don’t believe me? Let’s talk about my social media influencer story for a second! Then we’ll get into my 10 best tips for making all of this happen for you.

Written by Influencer Coach Dani Rodriguez

My Influencer Journey

My journey started after being fired from my job and went ALL in on pitching to brands. I’ll spare you the details for now.

After I learned how to become a full-time influencer, I began living out my travel dreams. I lived in a campervan, traveling the entire USA. I’ve also been paid to fly overseas to photograph countries like Italy, Dominican Republic, and Sri Lanka. 

I have even had the chance to work with some of the biggest brands like MAZDA, REI, Marriott, TripAdvisor, American Express, Travel & Leisure, and more.

In sum, I can work remotely, make my own hours, and earn as much income as I desire. I love the freedom this career has offered me. I’m grateful for it every day! 

I want others to have these opportunities too, which is why I love sharing tips on becoming an Instagram influencer!

You’d Like: How to Get a Paid Instagram Sponsorship

But Can You Become an Instagram Influencer?

The best part about my story is that this can be you too. I’m serious! When I was fired, I barely had around 10k followers.

Truthfully, there isn’t a set number of followers you need to make this happen!

A couple of years ago, I launched my Instagram influencer course, which helps aspiring creators have a lucrative influencer career. 

It’s been amazing to see all the accomplishments aspiring influencers, and small creators can have!

I’ve seen small creators succeed left and right, working with large name brands like Toyota, Vera Bradley, and tourism boards. Success is possible!

Students with LESS than 5,000 followers grow to have 50,000+ followers, land four-figure brand deals with LESS than 5k followers, and leave their 9 to 5s—so this dream of yours can be done!

It takes some work, but I believe in you. So let’s get into my best tips!

These will give you some direction on where to start.

12 Tips on How to Become an Instagram Influencer in 2022

  1. Determine Your Niche
  2. Understand the Instagram Algorithm
  3. Develop a Content Strategy
  4. Start Creating Reels Frequently
  5. Create a Portfolio You’re Proud Of
  6. Have a Media Kit
  7. Determine Your Prices
  8. Land Paid Brand Deals
  9. Love Your Current Audience
  10. Create Better Content
  11. Optimize, Optimize, and Optimize Some More
  12. Scale Past Instagram

In the next sections, we’ll dive deep into these Instagram influencer tips.

#1 Determine Your Niche

Who are you? What is your personal brand? What is your niche? These are questions you MUST ask yourself if you’re thinking about how to become an Instagram influencer. 

I know, I know, branding is complex for many folks to wrap their heads around.

“Niches” feel so constricting, right? 

Like how are we supposed to pick one topic and one topic only to ever post about as an influencer?

Consider your interests and what you would feel comfortable talking about for a longggggg time. Truthfully, niching down can make you a better creator in the long run because you’ll have creative constraints.

Those constraints will help you consistently create on topic and attract a loyal audience!

FREE TOOL: Media Kit Checklist—20 Things Your Dream Sponsors Look for. Click here to download!

#2 Understand The Algorithm

So you have your niche; now it’s time to harness the power of the Social Media Gods and grow our channels. 

“But UGH, Dani, the Instagram algorithm is seriously killing my vibe.” 

Hey, I know, trust me. However, growing on Instagram isn’t impossible!

Here are two things you need to keep in mind to beat the Instagram algorithm:

#1 Engagement—Show your followers some love.

#2 Time—Create engaging content people spend more time interacting with.

I have an entire blog on how to beat the Instagram algorithm that goes into MUCH more detail if you’re interested!

And brands LOVE when creators have great relationships with their followers! Knowing the algorithm is the start to building that relationship.

And if you need help communicating your value to brands, you’ll definitely want to snag my Pitch Vault—packed with fill-in-the-blank email templates for pitching and negotiating paying brand deals.

These are based on email negotiations I’ve had with brands like Mazda, Adobe, American Express, and more!

Influencer brand pitch templates

#3 Develop a Content Strategy

Alright, alright, so you know your niche, you understand the Instagram algorithm’s BASICS, but now what?

Many beginner influencers fail to realize that if they cannot create high-performing content CONSISTENTLY, they’re not going to get very far. 

You can create Reels all you want, but you have to do it on repeat with strategy!

Your audience needs to have you top of mind. Consistently showing up on followers’ feeds is how you get there! This is super important for landing paid brand deals too. 

If a brand is vetting influencers and seeing that you haven’t posted in a week, a month, they might take a hard pass at hiring you. So create a plan to make and post content on a consistent basis!

#4 Start Creating Reels Frequently

If there is ONE thing you get from this, how to become an Instagram influencer 2022 guide, please understand that as of now, you’re going to have a difficult time expanding your reach if you DO NOT start utilizing Reels.

Many folks have opposing opinions about this, but the truth is, Instagram is heavily pushing short-form video content. Reels have done wonders for myself and other creators, getting creators anywhere from 6,000 to 70,000 new followers in a week.

Reels are a GREAT way to share your expertise, add value, and tell your audience a story in an engaging way! 

Freebie: Enroll in my Free Viral Reels Course—learn how to make Reels people want to watch in 5 short videos.

free create viral reels course

#5 Create a Portfolio You’re Proud Of

Now we get to start talking about MONAYYYY woo! Money is one of the most sought-after topics regarding how to become an Instagram influencer 2022 edition or beyond.

Okay, so one of the easiest ways to monetize as an Instagram influencer is to start working with brands.

How does one start working with brands for money? I recommend new influencers pitch brands they want to work with.

But before you can even start pitching brands, you need to build up a portfolio you’re proud of. Treat your Instagram feed almost like a gallery of your work.

Read Next: How to Turn a Gifted Collab Into a Paid Partnership

#6 Have a Media Kit

An influencer media kit is a simple PDF that acts like a brag sheet for you as an influencer! 

Think of an influencer media kit as your Instagram influencer resume. If you want to become an influencer, you’ll need one of these to send to brands.

Remember, there are many ways to make money as a content creator regardless of follower count but you still need to have professional docs like this handy!

Instagram influencer media kit template

#7 Determine Your Prices

Before you even start working with brands on IG, you’ll have to set your prices! Anytime you pitch a brand, or a brand reaches out to you, you should have a number in mind.

If you have NO idea how much you expect to get paid, you can lose out on a ton of money. Yes, this applied to small creators too.

You don’t have to accept free deals AND you shouldn’t accept any offer. If you need help setting your rates, you need to check out my free Influencer Rate Calculator here.

#8 Land Paid Brand Deals

“But Dani, how do I land paid brand deals?”

There is more than one way to do this, but I recommend emailing the brands you want to work with.

Your brand pitch email should be short and sweet while conveying the value you can offer as an influencer.

This is done by introducing yourself and being crystal clear on what you hope to offer the brand. If you need help doing this, you’d love my brand pitch and negotiation email scripts—click here!

Instagram influencer brand pitch and negotiation email scripts

#9 Love Your Current Audience

While it is GREAT to want to grow your Instagram following, it is equally if not more important to continue to show up for the followers you already have!

If someone has opted in to hit that “follow” button, that means they see value in what you’re posting. 

To build a brand others adore, admire, and support, you’ll need to commit to showing up for your followers.

There are so many different ways to do this. Ask them questions on your story, write relatable Instagram captions, reply to their comments in your posts, heck, thank them for being there. 

Your online community will be the catalyst that carries you through your influencer journey and helps open doors for you!

Pro Tip: Showing up on Instagram Stories is a great way to connect with your followers!

#10 Create Better Content (Super Important for Becoming an Instagram Influencer)

When considering how to become an influencer on IG, you need to create content that your audience and new followers will be excited to engage with.

What makes for better content?

It is high-quality

It is engaging

It tells a story

How do you expect others to care about it if you’re creating lackluster content?

I’m a firm believer that if you focus on delivering value and telling your story, your audience will form a deeper connection with your feed! If you’re ever running out of ideas, see what content trends are popular and find ways to recreate them in your style!

Instagram influencer Reels

#11 Optimize, Optimize, and Optimize Some More

Often as content creators, we get complacent. We get into a routine, creating the same content repeatedly. 

Eventually, that taps out, and we find that our income and growth are stagnant.

As an influencer, you must constantly readjust your strategy. You’re running a business, after all!

Every month, do a check-in with yourself. Take a look at your goals—what’s working and what isn’t working?

#12 Scale Past Instagram

All of this brings me to my LAST Instagram influencer tip: 

As an influencer and entrepreneur, eventually, you will have to scale! 

While you don’t need to worry about this now, you need to remember that at some point, having all of your eggs in one giant Instagram basket will not be enough.

As an influencer, you should have:

  • A long-form platform: blog, YouTube, or podcast
  • Social media: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok
  • Email List

For growth’s sake, yes, I recommend focusing on creating great Instagram content, BUT keep in mind that for long-term success, you will eventually have to expand past Insta.

In short: every influencer needs a long-form platform, social media, and an email list.

Instagram influencer website

The Next Level: Becoming a Full Time Influencer

In addition to the Instagram influencer tips we just discussed, I would say that if you’re considering how to become a full time influencer, start by thinking about your current expenses and how much you need to live off of.

Use this number as a guide. Treat your Instagram influence as a serious side hustle and aim to make enough just to cover your expenses.

You might find my pitch and negotiation email templates helpful for landing your first paying brand deals so you can start making money!

Every month, review whether or not you’re meeting that number. Then, think about ways to earn even more money as an influencer. Continue to scale and earn consistently. 

Once you’re earning consistent income, you can decide when you may want to jump in full-time. And it is doable!

Well, there you have it! Those are my top tips on how to become an Instagram influencer 2022 edition.

I hope you enjoyed it! Again, I write these social media blogs to help aspiring influencers.

You might want to read one of these next!:

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© Dani Rodriguez LLC 2022. All rights reserved. | Legal | Site Credit

I'm a burrito loving explorer who got fired from corporate America and turned that into my dream career as a photographer and blogger. Now I'm here to help you explore life's magic. Thanks for stopping by!