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How to Become an Instagram Influencer 2022 – Written by an Influencer

Jan 31, 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.

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Post Summary: This bad boy is all about how to become an Instagram influencer 2022 edition! All tips were written by a full-time Instagram influencer in the hopes of helping aspiring creators like you. 

How to Become an Instagram Influencer - Written by an Influencer

Ever find yourself wondering how to become a successful Instagram influencer? 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 how to become an influencer on IG! While becoming an Instagram influencer isn’t easy by any means, there are SO many opportunities available to content creators. 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 Instagram influencer story for a second.

How to Become an Influencer on IG – My Story

As an Instagram influencer, @dani_the_explorer, I get paid to photograph the world. Things weren’t always this way, though.

After I graduated from college in 2016, I went to work at a marketing agency. During my off-hours, I spent my time hiking with friends and planning adventures for the future. However, it wasn’t long before I found myself longing to travel full-time.

I guess things are meant to be because I was unexpectedly fired from this job (long story short, lmao) and was so scared of what was next. So I figured taking social media seriously would help me launch a proud career. 

All I had to do was figure out how to become a full time influencer.

I started pitching brands like CRAZY to let me photograph their products. Finally, with lots of trial and error, I got some brands to pay me to create content on their behalf and eventually pay me to travel. Things began snowballing from there.

My Instagram Influencer Journey Today

After becoming my own boss as 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 how to become an Instagram influencer.

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 from my job, I barely had around 10k followers.

There isn’t a set number of followers you need to make this happen, though.

Recently, I launched my full-time influencer course and group coaching program, which helps aspiring creators learn how to become a micro influencer or a macro influencer. Therefore, I’ve seen small creators succeed. It’s NOT impossible!

I’ve helped students with LESS than 5,000 followers grow to have 50,000+ followers, land four-figure brand deals, and leave their 9 to 5s. So this dream of yours can be done!

Growing your Instagram following and becoming an “influencer” isn’t some mystical privilege saved for the elite.

*Cue dramatic, fairytale music* 

AND THAT’S WHAT I’M HERE FOR. 

Think of me as your fairytale Instagram influencer godmother. 

I LOVE helping small creators succeed. I don’t see it as competition; I see it as community building and creating more opportunities for all of us to grow together. 

How to Become an Influencer on Instagram Blog Purpose

Enough chit-chat – I know you’re ready to get to the good sh*t. So before we start, here’s what I want you to get from this how to become an Instagram influencer 2022 guide:

This is meant to be a starting point for your influencer journey! Will you become an influencer overnight by reading this? No – there is much more work that goes into it than one might think!

However, the payoff can be huge! 

Dream with me a little: 

What kind of opportunities would come your way if you were your boss? More freedom? Time with family? Would you travel more frequently? 

Becoming an Instagram influencer shouldn’t be a guessing game. 

Being an Instagram influencer is one of the best ways to make money online and create a career you’re proud of that has YOUR blood, sweat, and tears behind it. 

Therefore, in this blog, I wish someone would have told me when I was fired from my corporate job and was left searching for answers on my own. 

This guide is my gift to all you small creators out there with big dreams. So with that, let’s get started with my top 10 tips on how to become an Instagram influencer 2022 edition.

10 Tips on How to Become an Instagram Influencer 2022 Edition

Here is a shortlist on how to become an Instagram influencer:

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

This blog will dive into detail on each of these 10 Instagram influencer tips.

Instagram Influencer Tip #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?

Picking Your Niche

DON’T PICK ONE TOPIC. Pick two or three of your interests you’re comfortable making content around. The KEY and I mean this, is to pick niche topics (AKA content pillars) you will be comfortable talking about for a looooooooong time.

Trust me – when thinking about how to become an influencer on IG, you need to think about the long term.

They will be the backbone of your brand when thinking about how to become an influencer on Instagram.

Niche Exercise

Let’s dive a bit more into how I would determine a niche.

The exercise is pretty simple: 

  1. List out 10 to 20 interests you have
  2. Categorize them into overarching niches
  3. Narrow down your niche topics

Niche Example

If I were to start with some of my interests, I might say:

Photography & Modeling

Road Trips

Travel

Home Inspo

Skincare

If I were to “categorize” these interests into niches/ content pillars they fit into might look like:

Modeling – PHOTOGRAPHY

Travel – TRAVEL

Portraits – PHOTOGRAPHY

Home Inspo – LIFESTYLE

Skincare – LIFESTYLE

The niches we’ve identified are travel, photography, and lifestyle. So how do I make these 3 niches work together? Let’s get creative and think about content topics I might post about with these niches in mind. 

Knowing what content you’re going to create is crucial when considering how to become an Instagram influencer.

I might post about…

The photo gear I use when I travel

My skincare routine when I travel

My skincare routine pre photoshoot

Travel photo tips

My favorite home decorations I’ve collected on my travels

See how I marry them together?

This exercise can work for just about any set of interests. The idea here is to find commonalities. 

Once you have your niches, the key is to stick with them. Divulging any further can create confusion with your audience.

Can I Niche Down Even More?

Absolutely! As a matter of fact, when you’re thinking about how to become a micro influencer on Instagram and are new to the space, it can be much easier to just pick one topic to stick with: plants, books, home, DIY, travel, fashion, photography, family, etc. You can expand later. 

I’m offering this exercise to you as a way to get you thinking outside of the box and find ways you can intermingle a couple of different interests. 

Instagram Influencer Tip #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

2. Time

Engage

Show your followers some love. Reply to their DMs and comments. When you do this, they’re more likely to keep engaging with you, which means Instagram will show them your content.

Time

“Time” can mean many things, but to me, it refers to the time people spend interacting with your content. At the end of the day, Instagram wants users to stay on the app longer, so to beat the algorithm, you need to use the latest Instagram features, post consistently, and create content that your followers want to see.

Here’s the thing: the algorithm(s) exists to show Instagram users more of the content they want to see. So if you already know what your unique brand is, you should essentially be able to identify the kind of person you want to follow you. 

Next, when thinking about how to become an Instagram influencer 2022, you need to create the content they want to see. Doing so will get the algorithm on your side (in layman’s terms). We’ll go into content strategy next.

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

Instagram Influencer Tip #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. 

Your audience needs to have you top of mind. Consistently showing up on followers’ feeds is how you get there! The same goes for when you’re wondering how to get a paid Instagram sponsorship

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. 

Batching Content

“But Dani, there is SO much to do. Like how TF do I create consistently?”

It’s called BATCHING. Batching is when you do similar tasks in a singular time frame.

Let’s pretend you need to create more Instagram Reels to grow organically on Instagram. You might block out 1 to 2 hours to JUST filming Reels. Then you’ll block out another 1 to 2 hours to edit your Reels. 

Then in the final 1 to 2 hours of your day, you can devote yourself to writing captions for your Reels. By the end of the day, you’ll have multiple Reels completed and ready for posting. 

You can then dedicate additional batching hours or days to other tasks that don’t involve creating Reels!

Batching forces your brain to focus on one kind of task so you can get more done in one period of time. 

Posting Your Content

You can batch all you want, but what happens after you’re done creating a ton of content? 

You need to post it, of course! When folks ask me for tips on how to become an Instagram influencer, oftentimes, they want to know whether or not they need to post every day. Here is my advice:

It can be next to impossible to post consistently every day when you’re just starting out. Can you imagine sitting there focusing on becoming a successful influencer and getting SO overwhelmed on growth, earning money, expanding, etc., that you get burnt out? 

I can. I see it happen all the time. So rather than try to be the perfect influencer who posts without fail every day, why not pick one or three days a week you can commit to posting content. 

Do that for a month. Do it for two months. Once it becomes a habit for you to post at those designated days you’ve set, add another day to your posting schedule!

People will tell you that you have to post every day if you want to grow organically on Instagram. Still, as an Instagram influencer coach and as someone who has had consulting phone calls with Instagram, I can assure you that all you reeeeallllyyyy need to do is create good content (like a super good Instagram Reel) that gets a ton of eyeballs on your page. 

Just sayin’. NEXT!

Posting About Multiple Content Pillars

“But Dani, like, if I have multiple niche topics, how do I talk about all of them without being confusing?”

Simple: As part of your content strategy, post about each pillar on a particular day of the week. Here is what that might look like using the niche topics I mentioned earlier:

Monday – Travel

Tuesday – Photography

Wednesday – Photography

Thursday – Lifestyle

Friday – Travel

When you “assign” content pillars to days of the week, you start creating a routine with your followers, AND you’re again reinforcing these hyper-focus habits we said batching would accomplish, therefore helping you with consistency :).

Instagram Influencer Tip #4: Create Better Content

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?

Tips for Better 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!

After making a few posts, check in on your analytics: what posts are performing the best for you?

Create more content like that, so you can keep your audience engaged and excited about what is next.

READ NEXT: Best Aesthetic Photo Editing Apps

Instagram Influencer Tip #5: 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! 

Plus, you can repurpose them in other apps like TikTok, which will expand your influence.

Instagram Influencer Tip #6: 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 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!

Instagram Influencer Tip #7: 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 portfolio. While you want to create great content for your audience, you must remember that your content is most likely the content you want to get paid to make.

When thinking about my content, I try to back engineer things. I consider what kind of content my dream brands share and think about sharing similar things in my style. 

Thinking this way was a game-changer when I was working out how to become a successful Instagram influencer!

That way, when I go to pitch these brands, they can see that I’m posting the kinds of content their ideal customer can resonate with.

Instagram Influencer Tip #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. I have a whole blog on how to get a paid Instagram sponsorship that goes into pitching, but we’ll discuss this a bit now.

Your Brand Pitch Email

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 more help writing brand pitch emails, I have some brand pitch email templates that you might find helpful! These are the same templates I use, AND my Instagram influencer coaching program students use. You’re welcome ;). 

And OF COURSE, let’s not forget about a media kit! 

Your Media Kit

A 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. I also have an Instagram influencer media kit template you can snag! It includes everything you need to impress the brands you’re pitching. 

Plus, it’s 100% customizable – no photoshop skills required. Don’t worry, my template comes with fill-in-the-blank copy and a help video too 😉

Instagram influencer media kit template

Putting It All Together

Once you have an influencer media kit and a brand pitch email ready, the idea is to send this to the brands you want to work with. If you do it right, from there, you will be able to negotiate a paid brand deal for yourself!

And before you ask, no, brand deals are not the only way you can make money as a content creator! If you need some more ideas, I have a blog on how to make money as a content creator regardless of follower count that you might like. 

I also have a blog on how much to charge for sponsored Instagram posts that you might find helpful. 

READ NEXT: How to Create an Influencer Media Kit That Gets You Brand Deals

Instagram Influencer Tip #9: 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? Are there different types of content you can be creating? When you reach out to brands, can you be asking for more money or thinking of different ways to partner?

What about other ways to make money? Are you still relying solely on brand partnerships?

While the idea of doing a monthly Instagram influencer review on yourself might sound boring, it’s crucial to running a successful business. And there’s the following key I need you to take away from this blog. 

Your Influencer Business

Becoming a successful Instagram influencer is not some cute little hobby. Sure, it can be SUPER fun and rewarding, but “hobbies” frequently do not pay the bills. Business does.

I’m not trying to sound snotty or stuffy. Nor am I trying to steer you away from wondering how to become an Instagram influencer. But I have seen many aspiring influencers give up on their dreams because things aren’t going anywhere for them!

You need to commit. 

If you’re serious about making money as an influencer or wanting to become an Instagram influencer, you need to commit to your growth. And I’m not just talking about follower count!

I’m talking about committing to becoming a little bit better than you were yesterday. Do that every day, treat your Instagram influence like a business, review your efforts, optimize, and the results will come!

Take advantage of the fantastic opportunities you have to make money online – OPTIMIZE BB.

Instagram Influencer Tip #10: 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.

How to Become 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.

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.

The luxury of choosing this path on how to become a successful content creator is that you GET to choose! When I was fired from my job, I had to scramble to make things work.

Take the stress off and consider making this a lucrative side hustle before going full time!

How to Become a Micro Influencer

When thinking about how to become a micro influencer, you might want to heavily lean in on our growth Instagram influencer tips! 

I usually find that you’ll have a much easier time in the long run if you focus on building a rock-solid community. Naturally, as you gain more followers, your engagement rate tapers off. 

However, if you really focus on keeping your engagement rate high and having an authentic connection with your audience, you’ll be in a MUCH better position than most influencers.

I wish I had focused more on community building when I was starting!

Remember, there are also many ways to make money as a content creator regardless of follower count!

How to Become an Instagram Influencer 2022 Edition – My Final Thoughts

Well, there you have it! Those are my top 10 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. This is my way of giving back. Leave a comment if you found this post helpful! See you in the next blog 🙂

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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!